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3 July 2014

Pieter ten Hoopen, Hungry horse

In 2003, a little before the US presidential elections, I decided that I wanted to document the USA through one town, one small environment. George W. Bush was elected for the second time and was fighting terrorism.

This is the story of a small town, Hungry Horse, situated in the Montana Rocky Mountains just a few miles from Glacier National Park. Hungry Horse and its neighbouring area mostly depend on the summer tourist season. Winters are quiet and there is little work in the canyon. Glacier National Park provides work for many people and keeps the area going. Over the years local industries have disappeared or been relocated to other countries. The recession of 2007 was hard on this area, as on so many other small towns through the US. During my first trips to Montana and specifically this area, there was a plague of addiction to methamphetamine (also called crystal meth).

I have been documenting this area for over ten years. I have seen people come and go from the Canyon. My documentation is not as much factual as emotional. The work itself is based on a state of mind through the people and the landscapes. I think it took me ten years to be able to understand this place and see beyond the clichés of the USA.

Pieter ten Hoopen

Artist presented by Wim Melis for the Discovery Award of the Rencontres d’Arles. 

Exhibition venue : Atelier de Chaudronnerie, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2014.