Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Jessica Lange—whose recent projects include American Horror Story and The Politician—is also an accomplished photographer. Although Lange, now 70, left her hometown in northern Minnesota at age 18, her affection for the region has endured and is the subject of a new book of photography, Highway 61. Lange’s collection of over 80 tritone photographs captures the diversity of experience along the route, ranging from families at carnivals in Wisconsin to boys playing basketball in Mississippi with long stretches of clear road in between.
TIME spoke to Lange about Highway 61, the loneliness of taking pictures and how photography and acting influence one another.
TIME: This is your third book of photography. What sets it apart from the others?
Lange: It’s the first time I had worked this way, with an idea and a result in mind. I wanted to record as much of the 1,400 miles between the beginning of Highway 61 and the end of Highway 61 as I could. I was looking for things, and it was much more deliberate.
In the book, you write about feelings of loneliness at visiting parts of that scenic route. Why did that come up for you?
I think I’ve always been extremely sensitive to loneliness. I was a lonely child. It has been one of the main conditions of life. And I feel it there. I see it in the empty storefronts and the boarded-up buildings and the abandoned farms and the barns that have collapsed. It feels as though something has gone missing. I left when small towns were still very vibrant and vital. Over the ensuing decades, the industry, the mills and factories, like most of rural America, have disappeared. But that’s not to say it’s a ghost-ridden highway.
In Highway 61 you quote French essayist …read more
Source:: Time – Entertainment