Postcards from the Outskirts of American Cities

For more than 20 years, London-based photographer Nadav Kander has been adding to his series God’s Country, re-examining the great American outdoors as a place where untouched wilderness does not exist. His family knows about being on the move: “My dad lived in Germany, ended up in Israel and then we went to South Africa,” he says. “My history makes me an outsider in a way, and I’ve become interested in the fringes because of it.” As Kander travelled through the United States from coast to coast, he was drawn to the spaces between cities – flat, monochromatic land; parking lots; defunct race tracks. The celebrated portrait photographer, who has shot the likes of Barack Obama and Jodie Foster, isn’t interested in purely natural settings, even when it comes to landscapes; instead, he’s searching for the marks of human intervention. In this series, Kander conveys the isolation of solitary figures dwarfed by the vast, open spaces they find themselves in.

March 1, 2019
A giant model of the planet Earth is seen behind a bunch of suburban buildings.
The World, Savannah, Georgia, USA, 2001.
A man sits on a picnic table in the distance in Monument Valley, Utah.
Tourist, Monument Valley, Utah, USA, 1996.
A woman in a bathing suit stands on a diving board in a landscape that appears to be made entirely of water.
Tourist, Monument Valley, Utah, USA, 1996.
Diver, Salt Lake, Utah, USA, 1997.
Telegraph poles in the desert with a transport truck driving by in the background.
Telegraph Poles, Texas, USA, 1995.
A large group of people in the far distance are almost lost in a large white sand dune.
Crowd and Sand Dune I, New Mexico, USA, 2005.
A man standing, facing away, on a car in the distance in an otherwise empty parking lot in the afternoon.
Crowd and Sand Dune I, New Mexico, USA, 2005.
Cowboy, Los Angeles, USA, 2005.
A monument with a bunch of multi-coloured globes at the top of a large wooden pole stands in the desert.
Monument, Utah, USA, 1995.

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