After being showcased in our sample 13 exhibition, Kyler Zeleny has released a new photobook on his body of work ‘Out West’. The book is compiled of photographs of the outback of America, rusty cars, seemingly abandoned neighbourhoods and buildings. A book that explores the quiet pace and soul of America rarely shared to those outside the country.
The images in Kyler Zeleny‘s new book ‘Out West’ are part of a project documenting small rural communities (1,000 inhabitants or less) in the Canadian West.
“As demographic changes – ‘rural drain, urban claim’ – persist, many would argue that the rural is becoming a redundant sidepiece in a world that is increasingly concerned with the urban,” Kyler explains.
“The project investigates how rural communities in the Canadian West struggle to hold onto their heritage despite the diminishing vitality of these towns.”
The significance of these images is that they are not images of an American past, but of a Canadian present, a visual account of the Canadian West stressing legacy retention, regional identity and decay.
“We must reflect on that which is near to being forgotten,” he says. “Understanding the past is important in establishing a sense of self. People wish to be connected to the past, and perhaps this is something still obtainable in the rural West.”
Kyler Zeleny is a Canadian visual sociologist. He is interested in found photography, family albums and the politics of archives. His personal interests in photography, which is reflective of his rural upbringing, relates to open space, landscape portraiture, and the archeology of rural decay.
Kyler received his bachelors in Political Science from the University of Alberta and his masters from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in Photography and Urban Cultures. He is a member of the Association of Urban Photographers (AUP).