You have never dreamed of traveling to the US.
Not that you did not enjoy traveling – far from it!
Concerning you, while this destination seemed to represent the top of the travels for many Westerners, the idea of visiting this country-continent was far from being one of your priorities.
The United States of America!
Yet he had loved beautiful pieces of his cinema, a certain music, a part of his literature. The alternatives, the independents. Perhaps it was the hegemonic side of this mass culture, its imperialism and its temptation of standardization that aroused suspicion and distance.
Basically, you had no particular passion for this country.
You couldn’t help to think that it was built on theft, genocide and slavery. You used to say that this country scared you, that its violence is ontological, and that it would never be able to get rid of it.
And you did not like his foreign policy …
I have probably inherited this critical eye from you. But I finally agreed to go there. It was just a passing – five weeks is very short!
So I tried to forget everything. I was ready to receive all that these cities, these landscapes, these populations met on my trip, had to tell me, combining the pleasure of discovery with the possible “metamorphosis” of my mental images.
From Seattle, I drove southeast, to the inland. Some national parks then a detour by the scenery of John Ford’s westerns and finally California.
I’ve photographed, over miles, as if trying to show you what I’ve been through.
Little by little, I liked to let myself be crossed by breathtaking landscapes. I’ve stayed in mythical cities and more anonymous places. I confronted the “passages obligés“ with my imagination, and I looked for others, less frequented.
I took a lot of photos. But it was never enough!
I looked for my pictures with in my mind, the memory of the work of Ansel Adams, Walker Evans or Ralph Gibson and many others. And cinema, and music, and littérature, the works I loved.
And at the end by forcing me to forget all and trying to find the distance that suits me.
He might have liked it ultimately.
Today I can say that I would like to go back there, despite everything, despite this memory that he left me as a legacy and explore a little more of this America that I started to glimpse and appreciate.