Recently, I have braved the confines of the studio to commence an investigation of the built environment. One such project is Reclamation, an ongoing program of work focusing on the fast food architecture of multinational corporations, including McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Playing documentary photographer and urban anthropologist, I search out and photograph abandoned fast food outlets (Image #1-11). These images represent the first component of the Reclamation project. The second component is comprised of similar sites that have graduated from a stage of abandonment to one of full-fledged ‘reclamation’ (Image #12-29). These photographs celebrate the phoenix of independent Mom and Pop shops, which rise from the ashes of failed assembly line commerce. Despite the regimented, robotic physical design of the original restaurants, individuals have managed to rejuvenate these spaces with a level of originality and warmth absent from their original manifestations. Although these sites are few and far between, presented together as a complete work they impart an all-too-rare sense of joy, optimism and subversion.