Fall is here, and whether you’re a hipster looking for a hayride or a child questing for a bouncy castle, your harvest activities are likely centered around the corn maze. Lee Kilpatrick’s photo exhibit "Corn Maze: An Eye for an Ear" explores both the physicality and metaphysicality of this modern rural tradition.
Kilpatrick's "stalk photography" depicts the mazes as well as their a-maze-ing attractions. In his images, visitors attempt to conquer the walls of corn, then relax after escaping the labyrinth of vegetation. Hot cider, slides made from corrugated plastic drainage pipes, potato cannons shooting their projectiles into the mouths of cartoon characters, jumping pillows, explorers bearing emergency flags, and police tape all appear in a beautiful, pastoral setting.
"'Maze' is like 'maize,' the native American term for corn," says Kilpatrick. "So it’s like there are two levels of 'maze.' Similarly, the people you see visiting the farms are navigating both the maze of corn, and the maze of their lives. In 2011 a family called 911 because they were so lost in the Connors maze --or was it existential stress about their newborn baby that caused them such panic?"
At Washington Street, you will see that the corn maze is for humanity and beyond, and a place of both joy and desperation. The world of the corn maze can hold an anxious princess from Frozen, carrion birds waiting to feed upon the fallen, bison with hateful eyes, triumphant explorers finally achieving sweet freedom, and, forever and always, pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!