“Our minds are so focused on one side or the other that we often miss the intermediate moments. These alleys were a physical space, in between the two, in which I could exist in peace and quiet for a few hours.” Jamey Hoag, a Californian photographer born in 1981, describes the feeling that led him to make this report. Intuitively and without any initial purpose, he simply walked around, armed with his camera, to explore the residential alleys, north of Los Angeles. There, he found an intermediate space that became his canvas. It was by focusing on the empty spaces and the unexpected details of these neighbourhoods that he found a way to meditate. “I try to stay open when I take pictures. I find this part of the process therapeutic and it is important for me not to overthink,” he says. Maze sums up the spirit of this photographer’s work. What started as a hazardous activity in empty spaces, has become an adventure in search of meaning and purity.
Strolling and meditating
Jamey Hoag started making this series in the same way that he started photography. As if he were in a labyrinth, he explored the unknown and obtained unexpected results. “I would like my work to ask questions rather than offer a solution,” he says. For him, photography is a way of taking a step back from the saturation of everyday life in the city. Walk around, get lost, and rediscover meaning and beauty in harmless details.“Taking pictures allows me to concentrate and get away from all the daily distractions. I learned to get out of my head by taking these pictures.” His practice is ultimately a quest for serenity. “The answer is to focus on the world with real attention. We miss a lot of details when we have a distracted mind. Yet the devil is in the details,” says the photographer. Between strolling and meditation Jamey Hoag has found a way to photograph that inspires calm and voluptuousness.
© Jamey Hoag