The Neighbours Project, of José Mª de Orbe

Barcelona

In February 2012, I made a trip to visit the towns of upstate New York, USA. After a heavy snowfall that covered the landscape in white, I arrived at the town of Springville, in Erie County. Observing the houses on the main street, I noticed that unlike European suburbs, in which all the single-family houses are either similar or, at most, with slight variations, in the US, every house is different, probably because of the individualistic spirit of the owners. Nevertheless, I noticed that all the houses were built in accordance with very similar construction criteria.

They all seemed to have been cut from the same pattern. I thought that if I were to cut every house in half and attach it to half of the neighboring house, the result would be a new house in which you could hardly tell the difference between each property.

In February 2012, I made a trip to visit the towns of upstate New York, USA. After a heavy snowfall that covered the landscape in white, I arrived at the town of Springville, in Erie County. Observing the houses on the main street, I noticed that unlike European suburbs, in which all the single-family houses are either similar or, at most, with slight variations, in the US, every house is different, probably because of the individualistic spirit of the owners. Nevertheless, I noticed that all the houses were built in accordance with very similar construction criteria. They all seemed to have been cut from the same pattern. I thought that if I were to cut every house in half and attach it to half of the neighboring house, the result would be a new house in which you could hardly tell the difference between each property.

Inspired by the aesthetic standards of Bernd & Hilla Becher -photography in B&W, frontal view, similar frame, absence of human elements, etc.-

I photographed the houses one by one. Although I did not have a large format camera, like the one used by the Bechers (I photographed in 35mm), I managed to gather enough photographs to develop the project on my return to Spain.

The next phase of the project, developed in 2014, consisted in putting together the “new structures” by means of photographic collage and digital pictorial retouching. Thus, I was once again delving into the limits of reality/fiction, painting/photography, seriality/duality, concepts I had already worked on in previous photographic series as well as in 35mm films.

Location

Town: Springville, Erie County, State of New York, USA.

Coordinates: 42ø30'34 "N 78ø40'11" O

Area: 9.5 km2 (3.6 sq. miles)

Average altitude: 405 meters above sea level (1,328 ft. above sea level)

Population: (Year 2000) 4,252 Inhabitants

Population density: 449 people per km2

Per capita income: $ 19,302

Population below poverty line: 7.4%

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.josemariadeorbe.com

Place: Hotel Sorli EmocionsCarrer Lluís Jordà Cardona, 2, Vilassar de Dalt,