Elegy for the Santa Maria Valley

Brett Kallusky

A collection of eye-opening photographs in California's historic Santa Maria Valley, one of the world's great wine-growing areas.
Publication date:
June 2022
Publisher :
George F. Thompson
Illustration :
46 duotones by the author, 1 historic photo, 1 Google Earth photo, and 1 map
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781938086878

Dimensions : 229 X 203 mm
Available for pre-order


• Brett Kallusky is a rising photographer and this is his first book
• The historic Santa Maria Valley is world-renowned for its vineyards and agriculture
• The subject of landfills is a powerful one; a metaphor for how humans fill in the land, and the environmental costs of just living

Landfill is a collection of eye-opening photographs by Brett Kallusky, taken in California's historic Santa Maria Valley, one of the world's great wine-growing areas. This body of work, however, directs our attention to a small section of the landscape: to the entwined systems of vast agricultural production and the waste it creates. The photographs reveal scenes that are literally hidden from public view and knowledge, underscoring their nature as evidentiary documentation: a microcosm with ramifications far beyond its geographical boundaries.

Kallusky's interest does not end there, for his depiction of this famous Central California landscape creates an opportunity for contemplative reflection of our complicit involvement, if only by eating the strawberries, carrots, and cauliflower that is grown here and transported to grocery stores throughout the U.S. Thus, despite the cool formalism and detached documentary style of the pictures, assembled together as they are in this book, they engage in an extended consideration, drawing viewers into a new relationship with this place.

Addressing the current, human-centered epoch known as the Anthropocene, the quiet but powerful imagery of Kallusky's Landfill examines important questions of how the land is used and regarded. The landscape reveals who we are, as he brings these invisible spaces into visibility, showing how the earth supports our food needs on a massive scale, fueling a massive engine of consumption. What is left in the wake of that system to which we all belong?