Sant Khalsa
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Western Waters addresses the commodification of nature, water as consumer product, and human desire - a never-ending thirst. I am fascinated by the implied necessity yet absurdity of these stores, and the way these venues have come to represent the source of a natural experience. Of course, these stores are merely elements of entrepreneurial enterprise - constructed sites to provide the consumer with the most essential requirement for life and survival. The success of these stores is based on consumers’ fear that their tap water is not safe to drink and on providing an alternative to bottled water. Today, plastic bottles have replaced earthen vessels, and to fetch our water, we travel in polluting automobiles to and from this fabricated representation of a river, well, or spring. The 60 gelatin silver photographs in the Western Waters piece depicts water stores in Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, and Southern Nevada. The installation pattern refers to geography and mapping, where the stores are situated in the four states in relation to each other and my road trip experience. The photographs will serve in the future as a historical document of either a fleeting fad or the foundation of what will become commonplace in our society. - Sant Khalsa