Made in USA

From Canada, where I was born, America was, and remains the great bold experiment, that idea/ideal of the republic, spirited and free, free and wild, its failures and triumphs equally outsized. It wasn’t us up here; it was us, down there. All my life I’ve looked from across the border, the border shared. All my life, it has been the exotic, the exotic so nearby it is nearly within.

It’s a mark, Made in USA.  A label, regulated by the FTC, indicating the product is “all or virtually all” made in America.  I am not, and these pictures were made here. So I have titled each work Made in USA because they weren’t and yet, they were.

This series of work, drawn from an archive of images and a lifetime of looking without and within at America, began in 2003, shortly after my younger brother, also Canadian-born, became a US citizen in the spring of that year.

James Lahey
Spring 2008