August 26 2014 – September 27 2014

Detroit To LA – A Narrative By Marcus Bastel

Bastel’s pictures have the quality of film stills, a paused moment in a story. How the story continues is a matter of our imagination. By gathering a number of his images together he invites the viewer to invent a storyline.

Tractors, Every Boy's Best Friend © Marcus Bastel - Detroit to LA - A Narrative - Wisconsin USA 2013
Tractors, Every Boy's Best Friend © Marcus Bastel - Detroit to LA - A Narrative - Wisconsin USA 2013

How do they connect?

These images were shot during a journey from Detroit to Los Angeles in April 2013. But there is more to them than the document of a journey, they reach deeper and create another reality. They create a sense of foreboding, with something unsuspected about to happen. Being human we want to connect the dots, to make sense of things, and so we invent an explanation, a story.

Do the pictures portray what happened on the road or are they a fabrication of what might have been?

As with all photography it is a curated view, an exaggeration of reality courtesy of the photographer who picked, pointed and framed what we see in the end.

It is no surprise that Bastel writes fiction as well and might explain why his images often seem like fragments from stories. He has a need to invent a narrative in order to make sense of things, wanting to spin a yarn or tell a tale and make the fantastic out of the ordinary.

“I have visited and traveled through the US for the past 14 years and have tried to make sense of it every time. Yet even after all those trips the moment I hit the open road I drift from reality into some kind of movie world. Perhaps this is the way Americans perceive their country and through it the world, becoming fictitious characters in a movie set. Perhaps as movies aim to imitate reality, reality itself has come to imitate what we see in movies and the real within our reality is no longer.”

Buffalo - Marcus Bastel Detroit to LA - A Narrative Cheyenne River Indian Reservation 2013
Buffalo © Marcus Bastel Detroit to LA – A Narrative Cheyenne River Indian Reservation 2013
Dickie Do © Marcus Bastel Detroit to LA - A Narrative - Antigo USA 2013
Dickie Do © Marcus Bastel Detroit to LA – A Narrative – Antigo USA 2013
Pat © Marcus Bastel Detroit to LA - A Narrative - Escanaba USA 2013
Pat © Marcus Bastel Detroit to LA – A Narrative – Escanaba USA 2013

If you are interested in buying prints of this exhibition or seeing more work by this artist please contact Marcus through his site.

About Marcus Bastel

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Bastel moved to the UK in 1989 to study fine art. Over the last 12 years he has travelled extensively throughout the USA. His book ‘But Where Are All The People’ won Honorable Mention in the Photography Book Now International Juried Competition 2010. He also writes short stories. Marcus lives in Hackney, East London.