Morning Star: Marshall Scheuttle Photographs Las Vegas in a New Light
Las Vegas-based photographer Marshall Scheuttle explores the American landscape, documenting archetypes of American youth and the narratives which develop around them—exploring our place and identity within the world. Borderland, his first body of work, focused on the individual and their surroundings; his latest project, Morning Star, turns its attention to the specific dynamic of Las Vegas, in response to the stories he uncovered in his earlier series. Scheuttle shoots analogue using a large-format 8 x 10 view camera. His passion and drive for photographing contemporary America allow him to experience his journeys cerebrally, further opening his lens to the people he meets and the stories he watches unfold. The photographer shared his thoughts and images from his latest work, Morning Star, with ArtSlant.
I consider photography to be a beautiful double-edged sword of a medium. There are no absolute victories or triumphs; it is a craft that dwells in fleeting absolutes. My love for it stems from its inherent ability to speak to moments of dying certainty, that an image can posses everything and nothing but rest solely on the notion that it can never exist again as it was. Slowing down a poem into arm's reach without truly defining the terms of its existence.
My latest body of work, Morning Star, focuses very specifically on a set geographic area. I moved to the Las Vegas valley as a transient exile to explore and photograph a city that I always found to be a last stop refuge for the disenfranchised. In retrospect, I view Borderland as a series that is very heavily attempting to resolve the notion of birth and identity into modern America, whereas Morning Star is the second entry in an ongoing story. Perhaps I view Las Vegas as the somewhat natural progression into a darkness and solitude that was born out of my explorations in my previous work.
I continue to photograph in the style I employ, albeit archaic and problematic, because I believe in the stories I'm after. That is not to say I seek to gain recognition through their exposition—rather I feel like they are songs floating through the noise I inhabit. It is simply a natural reaction to actively participating in the worlds I inhabit. I'm not to say whether these narratives or concepts would remain as they are without my interaction. More so, it's my nature to respond to them photographically as it's how I process the visual chaos. A dream within a dream.
Please note that the images below are some of the images that were shown with the article. To see all of the photographs by Marshall, please refer to the article on ArtSlant.