Lip Sync to a Car Crash

Lip Sync to a Car Crash

From a global pandemic to a divisive American political climate, to social injustice, to high unemployment, to climate change, and quarantine with no end in sight, 2020 felt like a long, drawn-out car wreck. Like a car wreck, you couldn’t look away from scenes illustrating these events. These sights were so unavoidable and familiar it was as if you could lip-sync to them.

I spent the entirety of 2020 photographing Chicago, the city in which I live. This project, titled Chicago 2020, was a journey of self-exploration with the purpose of understanding who I am as an adult and my place in the city I moved to 20 years ago, at the age of 20. As I spent the year creating work across all 77 of Chicago’s neighborhoods, one crisis after another accumulated across the United States. By October 2020, with the presidential election just weeks away, the United States was at its height of political dissonance. The divisiveness was the rhythm section in an atrocious band singing predictable lyrics in a song you didn’t want to hear: “social distance!”, “wear a mask,” “take that stupid mask off your face,” “fake news,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Blue Lives Matter,” “Keep America Great,” “Say their names,” “I can’t breathe, and ” “fuck 12.”

In October 2020, I paused the Chicago project and drove 5,000 miles across 12 states to examine the United States at the peak of the most unprecedented time in our lifetime. This journey was also an attempt to seek a deeper understanding of the political divisions within our country. Unlike "Chicago 2020", I allowed metaphors to play a deeper role in this body of work. With only a specific start and end place each day, I drove through both urban and rural areas in both "Blue" and "Red" states to create an equitable portrait of the United States during a very specific time frame. What I found was a familiar collision of confrontation at every intersection.