A History of Empty Places : Howard Philips Smith

A HISTORY OF EMPTY PLACES is a series of black and white photographs. They are stark and bleak, tranquil and introspective. Thousands of negatives, archived and catalogued, some never printed, are waiting for a moment in time when their documentation is recognized as history.

Associated with each image, there is a sense of melancholy, an absence coupled with longing, an unfulfilled wish. The continuing series, begun in 1980, became a sort of travelogue where various locations seem quiet and frozen, yet mysterious and evocative. There is an emptiness that calls out, a restlessness that points inward, a discovery on the verge of becoming apparent.

"Every place in the world has been filled by me at one time or another. I am a living history of empty places." —Elmo D. Avet