Are We There Yet?
“Are We There Yet?” is a strange, recurring road-trip towards home. A home we can never really find or retrieve; while at the same time, being a home we have already found: the one that is already ours. Like a circular roadmap for finding our way there. We hear the same driving tape over and over, but we move through different landscapes, across vast spans of time and place, in a dreamscape where the laws of separation and structure, boundary and contour, do not apply.
When Heather speaks of the landscape she captured on tape in ‘92, it’s as if that place still lives in her. This made me think about our own private landscapes, as opposed to those external geographies we share with others. There are places we carry inside us, haunted and haunting; those that once were and are no longer, but whose maps we still clutch. And those we imagine—the ones no-one else can glimpse, but that we live alongside, often intimately, all our lives.
There is bleed between our experience of external landscapes and interior states. They resemble one another. We borrow from one to furnish the other. We are instructed by both. And so here, imagined geographies of home sit alongside their physical counterparts. Sometimes they are treacherous, unpredictable. These are landscapes of mineshafts and coal-seams; grounds plundered and sundered that could split apart at any moment. These sit in sharp contrast to the immutable, forever-safe places we build ourselves: the impeccable, unswerving, untouched idylls of our imaginings. In all, there are notes of nostalgia; a sense of something that is both lost and beyond the reach of loss; both time-worn and outside of reach of time.
My thanks to: Library of Congress, Mary Hufford, Garth Davis, Angeliki.