“I was inspired by the way a car can steal the show. Think of iconic car chases in films—it’s often about spectacle, and has little to do with advancing a narrative. And that’s the way I think of these cars, as dead-end technologies, but also as high-performance machines which, for their audience, sought to reflect the spirit and attitudes of their time.” —Matthew Porter
Matthew Porter presents a portfolio of twenty-five images of old-school cars, captured in midair as they careen over city streets and highway intersections. Each photograph is a freeze-frame—a hypothetical film still from a pulp-fiction chase scene. The series seems, on one hand, to distill the essence of muscle-car Americana, a pop-cultural semaphore for the high-testosterone male persona. And yet, on the other, the subject—the “all-American” muscle car as antihero—is caught in an eternal state of suspended animation, while the various elements of the landscape in the background organize themselves around the edges of the frame. The resulting pictures are a hybrid of hyperreality and studied, topographic description, part bittersweet nostalgia and part ironic reinvention of a classic American trope. Rachel Kushner contributes an original piece of writing that riffs on the aesthetic and aspirational nature of the American car.