To expand on the five images each artist has displayed on the Metro Photoville FENCE, we got our hands on some additional photographs and had a conversation with the artists.
Scroll down for photos submitted by W. Scott Olsen (follow him on Instagram), and read more about what he had to say below.
W. Scott Olsen is the author of twelve books of narrative travel/adventure nonfiction (most recently A Moment With Strangers: Photographs and Essays at Home and Abroad).
His images have been selected as book covers, as well as published in magazines and shown in galleries. His reviews of photo books and other work appear in FRAMES Magazine, LensCulture, and elsewhere.
He teaches at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and was instrumental in working with The Arts Partnership to bring the FENCE to the local community.
Scenes from a Moving Window follows the photographer’s travels around the perimeter of the continental United States on Amtrak: Fargo to Seattle to Los Angeles to New Orleans to New York to Chicago and then back to Fargo.
The goal was to stay on the trains, getting off only when schedules did not allow an immediate connection. The goal was to produce a travel narrative—in images and text—that sought to discover a new understanding of landscape, history, and personal experience within the deep tradition of train travel—when the country is racing by the window.
This series was featured on the Photoville FENCE 9th edition: Metro Regional Photographers Showcase displayed in the Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead.
“What appeals to me has always been the really fleeting moment,” Scott says. “My travel books, for example, are not about the destinations, every single one of them is about the act of going there, of being in motion.”
“Photography for me is not so much a an effort to freeze or capture a fleeting moment, as much as it is to celebrate that moment. To say, you know, look at this thing that just went by and then slow it down enough to taste some of its edges.”
“What I do when I go back to these photos, I’m not trying to recapture a moment that’s already gone as much as celebrate a new way of looking at it. It’s like going back to your old high school. You come back with a new personal history, so even though you know the building well, it’s still brand new. There’s new people and new posters on the walls and new food in the cafeteria.”
“Black and white for me is really evocative, it is timeless, it allows my participation a little bit more largely and loudly than color does.”
“I really just respond to black and white. I’ve taken black and white photos of rainbows. I’ve taken black and white photographs of, for example, the graffiti wall behind the Fargo Forum building. Black and white to me, simply resonates in a way that color doesn’t.”
“This (Photoville FENCE) is a great big deal for photographers. The FENCE has a large reputation and people submit work for years trying to get included. So we are bringing New York gallery-quality work to fences around Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, but not in a rarefied way, not where you have to go to a gallery, or you have to make an appointment to go see it. This is hanging out there on fences.”