American Dreaming presents a vision of America from 1990 to 1995. Spagnoli took these photographs with a small Leica camera in the classic manner of street photography and then selected small details from the negatives. The resulting images of gestures, signs, faces and objects are freed from their original contexts and reconfigured. Spagnoli’s subject is the build-up to the First Gulf War, but we see these social and political events at best obliquely as Spagnoli’s version of history is primarily subjective and fragmentary. American Dreaming is the second of Spagnoli’s books in a trilogy about the personal experience of history, the first being Daguerreotypes (2006).
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