Central Valley, California
Josh Hires – joshhires.com
This image was captured at the height of the housing crisis in one of the hardest hit areas of California, the Central Valley. During this time of economic upheaval, brand new housing tracts — still bank-owned — were left vacant, abandoned before they could be lived in. Areas such as this one are fenced in and not even kept up or maintained. The stark quality of the landscape in monochrome ads to the abandoned quality or feeling of the photo.
Out of the Concrete Jungle
The photo paints the reality of the American middle class; from a distance it has a very appealing idea, this material possession represents the ideal goal that generations of U.S. citizens have embraced as one of the crucial parts of attaining middle class status. However today the middle class is much like the houses you see in the photograph, an idea that is empty, devoid of substance, and merely a frame in a state of decay. The houses are among many thousands waiting in expectation for owners that never arrived. Although hope of a rebound on the housing market is on the horizon since this photo was captured in 2009, the reality for many is that middle class status – and the housing market in particular – are an empty idea, a reality perhaps of previous generations.
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