Roger Eberhard made pictures of long passed-by places. I wrote about
his series of pictures published in a book called “Wilted Country”.
Now Mr. Eberhard has been kind to give one of the book's signature
images for the Eastman House Benefit Auction. It depicts an abandoned
sign for GAS, barely visible in the artist's construction and an apt
notion of an increasingly faint source of energy.
Wind and other elements, sand and weed, snow and rain, seed and
living things, do pass freely now through the abandoned
locations. But people do not pass by very often. Perhaps on occasion,
I wrote. If they pass, and if they look, perhaps they wonder. Maybe
someone who recognizes potential, who has a feeling for history and
appreciation for redemption stops and considers.
Eberhard did. He stopped and produced some haunting images. And we
now, his audience, we stop in fascination.Through the artist's vision
these abandoned places are transformed. The sign remains in Eberhard's
picture. Maybe the GAS sign has disappeared out there on the prairie.
The photographer has left his sign too and in some ways just as
fugitively. His images, burnt out by a rural sun, occupy just a faint
edge of perception. But it is enough for our appreciation and
memorialization. And we are grateful to offer it in our October 3
Dr. Anthony Bannon is the Director of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. He has held that position since 1996, previously serving as director of the Burchfield-Penney Arts Center, and director of Cultural Affairs on the campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo, both located in Buffalo, N.Y.