Since 2012 photographer Mark Power has travelled across the US to create a complex visual narrative of the cultural and physical landscape of the US—a country in the midst of change. Good Morning, America (Volume IV) is the penultimate in an ongoing series of five books.
‘I left the United States as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the country’s first cases of Covid-19. That was in February 2020 and not long afterwards we published Good Morning, America (Volume III), which obliquely referred to the events as they unfolded, albeit from a distance. Almost two years passed before I was able to take my first post-pandemic flight back. By then my lust for travel seemed to have deserted me, but after landing in Denver I went back to work with a vengeance… ‘I knew a post-Covid landscape wouldn’t look any different; it certainly didn’t in Britain, and the US was likely to be much the same. The world had moved on and it was remarkable how soon I’d forgotten about life during the pandemic.’
Power moved slowly through Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming before heading back to Colorado. In a later trip he travelled to Alaska and then another lengthy trip to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and upstate New York. This new book includes some of these new images alongside those taken on previous trips. Power has described the process to be like ‘assembling a large and complicated jigsaw puzzle with little idea of what the final picture will be.’
Each book in the series has represented a shift in mood or tone. This latest book has seen the human presence subtly move from the peripheries or the incidental in the landscape to being a more integral part of some images. The tone of the book is more optimistic than previously, and the human presence diminishes a sense of isolation so often present in the vast landscape.
In the background on his recent trips the political landscape had shifted with the election of Joe Biden as 46th President. Power was aware that although domestic US politics seemed less dramatic and eventful under the new president, that the country remained divided with the next election around the corner.