Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Plastic Deer Becoming More Brazen

What's this all about? When you got 'em, you can't stand 'em. When you don't, you wish you had 'em? I photographed this plastic deer on a lawn on Staten Island, NYC. Is it not unlike any other landscape device that teases out our hidden desire to be one with nature, or less noble maybe, simply to represent a piece of the country life?

I guess, drawing from what J.B. Jackson states so well about lawn ornamentation, it is about owning (and displaying) what you have been willing to let go in one's quest for a better life.

"One of the more oblique ways of repudiating the notion that the garden or front yard could be a place of work is the casual display (as ornaments) of obsolete farm equipment: a plow, a wagon, even an old-fashioned hand-operated lawn mower. All make the point that work is out of date."

J.B. Jackson,
A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time, pg. 132

Tractor lawn ornament

You can't quite put a deer carcass on your lawn, although maybe its skull and bones. The plastic lawn deer reminds us of another time, perhaps, when that very landscape was flush with deer and the homeowner may have been out hunting as he was then driven by necessity. The lawn deer has its function which is to remind the community, like a souvenir of our past, and to consecrate our modern self-image.

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