Low Country Fairs is a documentary account of workers and attendees at state and county fairs throughout Georgia and the Carolinas. Through this body of work, I have explored the emotional state of humans within a constructed American tradition, fanatically curious in how situations like the beauty pageant, the fourth of July picnic, the rodeo, and in this case, the state and county fair can reveal a larger, authentic feeling surrounding carefully assembled Americana experiences.
I am drawn to the exposure of the human condition within the context of an event where there is a preconceived notion of how we should feel or act, compared to the reality of the situation. I have used the fair as a foreground for this examination. The occasion of the fair is the only consistent variable within the work, while the responses are raw, candid and alive. In the vulnerability of my subjects I have found love, fear, hope, curiosity, sadness, exhaustion and perseverance.
Through documenting various fairs throughout the low country, I have discovered that while the rides and games between different fairs are quite similar, the wide range of people working and attending them are not. I have also found that the people behind and in front of the booths aren’t really that different. It is only the title of worker or attendee that separates them. Just like the event of the fair is constructed, the titles of the people within them are just as carefully defined. Recognizing this, I have attempted to level the social playing field through my photographs. Interested in stripping the dubbed titles to create a communal equilibrium between workers and attendees, my documentation is also working to expand our social panorama in the process. This expansion includes my subjects in a larger photograph of an American culture, and through that, brings awareness to the emotional state of the human beings that reside within it.