28 January 2010

Vernacular Monuments: the Barns and Farmsteads of Columbia County

Vernacular Monuments: the Barns and Farmsteads of Columbia County
Throughout the landscape of my county there is the evidence of a once thriving agricultural industry. While dairy farming is still the predominant land use, the vibrancy of construction is over. The age of great barn building is done. Farmers now, when they building anything at all, would more likely build bunker silos, poured concrete slabs with open raised walls, great scoops in the ground, than the cylindrical monolith of the standing silo. Whether wooden staved or ceramic block, flat capped or metal domed, these phallic eminences dot the hillsides and valleys; some still attached to a working barn, other as solitary sentinels guarding phantom farmsteads long lost to memory or sight.
These were the first subjects that I began photographing with pinhole cameras some years ago. They had the advantage of not moving, holding still for the long exposures, not like the livestock that moved around freely and so left but shadows in silver.
Here a few of these images.

Flag on a Barn, Stuyvesant Falls

Barn, County Route 20 (since demolished)

Two Topless Silos, County Route 9 & Ten Broeck Rd. Austerlitz
[published in the Photo Poche series in vol. 114 "Le Stenope" on pinhole camera photography, image #50]

Twin Barn and Pond, New Forge Road #2

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