Monument Valleys

In 1992, we went on a road trip around the southwestern states of the USA, visiting several epic sites. But one place stood out, not only for its sublime natural grandeur but also for its mythic status in twentieth century culture: Monument Valley.

I took a lot of photographs in Monument Valley and I have also taken a lot since, recording the image of Monument Valley as I have found it back in Europe. Some of those pictures are collected here under the title ‘Near and Far’.

(The photograph on this page was taken by Susan Butler on a disposable panoramic camera, bought especially for the trip. I am holding my SX-70 camera, on which I have just taken a Polaroid Self Portrait. My 35mm camera is on the wall. The couple on the right are German and they have both a stills camera and a video camera.)

So far, I have only written about the experience of Monument Valley once, but that in itself was connected another memorable experience, when, in 1996, I was invited by John Stathatos to participate in the symposium Myth and Landscape at the European Cultural Centre in Delphi, Greece.

The short essay included here was developed from that talk and published in the book that accompanied the symposium. It is only a brief gesture to the great richness of the subject; there remains much more to say.

Monument Valley Panorama