Transmutation, Part I: All of the Churches in Colorado Springs
“A fundamentalist is an evangelical who is angry about something.” --George Marsden
All of the Churches in Colorado Springs is a photographic examination that is part documentary, part typology, and part psychoanalysis. I was raised in a family of evangelical fundamentalists who were living in Colorado Springs at the same moment that James Dobson founded Focus on the Family. Their subsequent indoctrination and religious fervor created a stranglehold on my life and experiences that cannot be understated. Decades later, I have unexpectedly found myself living in Colorado Springs again—which has since become an evangelical mecca—and in a current political moment whose very origins, I contend, can be traced to this place.
How did modern Christianity get so angry? How did its outer-most fringes become the center of contemporary American life? How did a relatively small group of people come to dominate our current political discourse, shifting policies that disenfranchise vast swaths of the population based on race and class? Where did it all start and how can we begin to understand it?
In the first phase of transmutation I am conducting a non-orthodox typology of all of the physical structures that house Christian church services within the city limits; there are nearly 400 of them (in a city of over 400,000 people). The image of each church is made manifest in the post-edit, when I transform these self-proclaimed spaces of Light & Truth into something decidedly else by isolating and manipulating their contexts to more precisely articulate my current experience and understanding of them as spaces that encourage alienation, bewilderment, fear and the uncanny.