Dallas Cowboys (2017–18)

video, 12 minutes

Dallas Cowboys distills hours of interviews recorded in the pastures, offices, sale barns, and around the dinner tables of working cowboys on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas, in 2017.

Advertising in local newspapers, across the internet, and through small town word-of-mouth, I spent two weeks driving through the Lone Star state meeting self-identified cowboys and collecting their stories. Intrigued by the collision of mythology and reality in the narratives of these men, I fabricated a set in my studio, reminiscent of a film backdrop or the stage and pulpit decorations of the Cowboy Churches nearby. Inviting the working cowboys to inhabit the facade, I left them alone for ten minutes while my camera rolled. The footage was later edited to capture the intimacy of their gestures, performances, and expressions in the space. With their interviews guiding the narrative, the cowboys take the stage of their own Westerns, having learned to embody their lives in part through cinema and the mythical narratives that preceded them.

With support from the Navarro Council for the Arts and the 100 West Corsicana artist residency.