/26 Habitare

Mark Brautigam

On Wisconsin

Guided by the allure of the unexpected and the revisiting of my personal past, I began to make photographs in my home state of Wisconsin in 2005. Coinciding with increasing political attention on Wisconsin, I traversed the entire state several times over the course of five years. The image of Wisconsin being portrayed on the national stage was quite different than the one I had come to know over a life lived within its borders.

These photographs constitute a personal and unique portrayal of the state. They are steeped in unassuming Midwestern solitude, populated by timeless characters, and set in a landscape that is neither dull nor spectacular and always seasonally in flux. While these photographs may live within the stereotypes of the Midwest, they also confound them with a reverent and dignified perspective on the land and people of Wisconsin.

Absorbing wit, humor, melancholy, and irony, the photographs in On Wisconsin seek surprise in the familiar and familiarity in the new. The images transcend the mere documentation of place to become paragraphs unto themselves, countering the instantaneous nature of our era and inviting the viewer to pause.