The People Staying, and Living, in America’s Motels | The New Yorker

The People Staying, and Living, in America’s Motels

Danna Singer’s pictures manage to combine the offhand intimacy of family snapshots with the dignified, staged formality of portrait painting.

via The New Yorker:

Since 2017, the photographer Danna Singer has been making pictures of people staying—often living—in motels, harrowed by their own bouts with the world’s troubles. Among the places she’s travelled, from her home in Philadelphia, are Galveston, Texas; Beatty, Nevada; Laramie, Wyoming; Florida City, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; and Hammonton, New Jersey. (She tried Las Vegas, but had a harder time there getting people to trust her.) Some of the subjects she photographs are working-poor families; some are people who have nowhere else to go because they are addicted to opioids or meth and cut off from any support system; some are sex workers, or motel staff, or the occasional travellers lucky enough to be just passing through. Singer stays in the motels for a few days herself, picking places where a room costs sixty-five dollars a night or less, which fits both her budget and her notion for the project. She meets her fellow-guests in the outdoor hallways or around the small pools that older, courtyard-style motels still often boast. Sometimes she just knocks on doors.