Woods of America #1, Leticia Bernaus
Woods of America #2, Leticia Bernaus
Woods of America #3, Leticia Bernaus
Woods of America #4, Leticia Bernaus
Woods of America #5, Leticia Bernaus
Woods of America #6, Leticia Bernaus
Woods of America #7, Leticia Bernaus

WOODS OF AMERICA Digital Pigment prints, 2016 18x12 inches

Spaces are lands of memory.

I am from the country at the southernmost tip of the American continent: Argentina. I grew up in a small town surrounded by corn and soybean fields, cows, smoky factories, and low, one-story houses. For the past fifteen years, I have lived in different big cities in my country, but there was always something missing: I felt like a stranger. One year ago, I moved to the US. My destination was Iowa City: cows and corn fields again. I discovered that, even if in some ways it was a familiar type of scenery, at the same time it was completely empty and unknown: I did not have any memories here. 

That sense of emptiness drove me to start a photographic project, "Landscapes of America", where I am elaborating an appropriation of the unknown territory in which I am currently living. With this purpose in mind, I am traveling around the country, taking photographs of diverse landscapes. Next, I overlap and superpose those images with collage techniques, creating new in-between spaces: ambiguous territories where I unfold my sensations about living in a foreign land. 

"Woods of America" is the first expression of this project. I travelled to the states of Alaska and Virginia, where I photographed trees. I intersperse these images with other nature photographs, creating these in-between spaces and starting to elaborate my personal version of the US cartography.

For Susan Sontag, taking photographs is an act of nonintervention: “to take pictures is to have an interest in things as they are, in the status quo remaining unchanged.” In this project, I try to expose the exact opposite gesture: my pictures are the appropriation of a foreign territory, a deliberate intervention into the environment: they force reality.