In 2007 I boarded a plane in New York City heading towards Lama, NM. Landing in Albquerque by way of Houston, I found Jessica’s old gold Volvo sedan in the airport parking lot. I was told the keys would be hidden on the front left tire where she had left it several days before. I found the car and the keys and drove the 3 hours north up into Lama where I spent the next two weeks living in the shrine-like home of 60’s painter Bill Girsh. That was where The Odysseus began. Up until that point the last 10 years of my travel had been centered around the artists I traveled with, the cities we found ourselves wandering in late at night. After all those years of wandering back and forth across America, I found myself alone up in the high desert; I’ve heard that living up close to the mountains of New Mexico has a humbling affect on the artists, that for years artists have found themselves dwarfed by the peaks and humbled in its shadow.
The Odysseus is a series of American landscapes taken during the years of 2007-2010. I found myself circling cities like satellites; following the roads that lead deeper into the vanishing wilderness. It comes at a time when the wildness of America is shrinking, in every form. I found myself fascinated with the idea that America used to be a wild landscape, completely untamed. I had been off and on the road for 10 years but now I found myself driving different roads, looking for points to stand on over-looking the valleys, from Atlantic to Pacific, looking for points of isolation.
The Odysseus has been exhibited in Chicago, Portland, Maine & Oregon, New York City, Great Barrington & San Francisco. These 10 prints, “Excerpts from The Odysseus” are the ones that never made it in the exhibitions but are still part of the story.
Mikael Kennedy is a New York City based photographer. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed Polaroid travel blog: Passport to Trespass and his Polaroid work is represented by the Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art Gallery, NY. Kennedy’s Polaroids were the subject of a solo show at the historic Chelsea Hotel in New York City and were shown at the International Polaroid Symposium in Cardiff, Wales where he was invited as a guest lecturer.
Kennedy’s photographs have appeared in Nylon, Dazed & Confused, Blown (UK), Vision Magazine (Beijing), American Short Fiction, & Maine Magazine. He won ‘Cover of the Year’ in Munich last year at the 2011 BCP Awards for the issue EB Magazine featuring a photograph from his series ‘The Odysseus’. Kennedy’s photographs are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX as well as in private collections internationally.