This thesis, True West, utilizes photography to investigate the myth of the American West. I reflect on the ways that myth has been used to symbolically situate the West at the heart of our American identity, in order to discern our seeming fascination with this imagined West. Looking to photography's historical precedence as a purveyor of myth, my photographs explore notions of representation and re-presentation to question both photographic truth and western authenticity. I focus on the intertwining of history and myth, where more often than not, myth prevails. True West urges a refocus toward a more factual history, where truth and imagination are more clearly defined and their ambiguities are acknowledged.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Photography, Artistic--Themes, motives; West (U.S.)--In art
Department, Program, or Center
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
Sheffield, Clarence Jr
Toalson, Chris, "True west" (2009). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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