On the outskirts of civilization, where suburban man stumbles over nature, an untold drama is taking place. A relentless effort by present day frontiersmen to tame and overcome the inhospitable California desert.
Rudy VanderLans takes us to the heart of this spectacle, where suburban elements meet vacuous space, where dubious claims of commerce stand fragile against a harsh light, where contemporary dwellers impose incongruous notions of luxury on a magnificent wilderness landscape. Supermarket captures the folly and the beauty of this colorful drama in all its ambiguity, with astounding photographic spreads that come at us like film, taken at slightly different angles, juxtaposed or duplicated in singularly bold symmetry. The iteration of the images so leveraged simulates a spatiality that transcends the ordinary two-dimensional page.
Supermarket is a disturbingly beautiful book that takes us on a poetic journey through VanderLans' California, documenting our sometimes successful, sometimes futile attempt to transform an unfriendly environment into a bearable, happy land.
Rudy VanderLans, publisher of the quarterly design journal Emigre, brings us inside this desert environment in small steps, taking us along the California coast heading south and then east through the built environment, setting the scene for our final destination.