American Interiors depicts the psychological repercussions of war and military service through images of the interiors of cars owned by USA veterans.
Through working with veterans over a five year period, Casteel became aware of the subtle indicators of past traumatic experience. He also recognised that the condition in which we live can often be a signifier of our well-being, and that even the state of car interiors can be seen as a manifestation of human interiors.
American Interiors explores the area between “the circumstantial and the evident” and it is in the space that separates the slickly produced military recruitment ads from the statistics about rates of veteran homelessness and suicide that this work resides. Casteel balances the empathy he feels for those who have survived the military experience, with a deep sense of outrage towards America’s industrial military complex and the institutionalised violence of warfare.
American born, M L Casteel is an award winning photographer and educator whose work focuses on the perils of the human condition. He attended the Hartford Art School International Limited Residency Photography Program and gained an MFA in Photography. He has exhibited in galleries in the USA as well as internationally and his work has been widely published. American Interiors is his first book.
Jörg M. Colberg writes about contemporary photography, and is also an educator. He is the founder and editor of Conscientious, the highly respected blog dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography.
Ken MacLeish is assistant professor of medicine, health, and society at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee. He is the author of Making War at Fort Hood, an illuminating look at war through the daily lives of the people whose job it is to produce it. He shows how war’s reach extends far beyond the battlefield into military communities where violence is as routine, boring, and normal as it is shocking and traumatic.