Johanna Flato, "The Trail Leads West," 2019 (photo courtesy of Johanna Flato)
Johanna Flato, "The Trail Leads West," 2019 (photo courtesy of Johanna Flato)

The Trail Leads West


"The Trail Leads West" is a digital floor collage of manipulated screenshots of the ground taken from Google streetviews and user photospheres at various historical and tourist sites across the American West. The lifesize cardboard cutout, "Columbia Welcomes," and the passing forms of viewers walking over it overlap with the shadows and the uncanny, free-floating feet that recall the previous travellers to the original sites.The travellers who felt the need to attest to their presence with public uploads of the scenes as seen from their panoramic, all-encompassing viewpoint are broadcasting from sites made iconic through land art and literature, sites flocked to for their preservation of the grand historical "wilderness", sites brashly celebrating American might, sites travelled by settlers voyaging west, and sites recalling the forced relocation and genocide of Native Americans. Cropping it on the ground alone and patterning and overlapping the scenes, these sites, traveller fragments, time periods, and shadows — from the uploads and the gallery installation alike — co-mingle into a hybrid space.

printed linoleum
250cm x 350cm
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