Joe's Junk Yard is a personal narrative, spanning fifty years and three genera- tions, that explores the achievement and subsequent demise of the Ameri- can Dream. Kereszi's grandfather, a first-generation American and boxer- turned-junkman, built an empire of used cars and scrap metal during the 1950's boom times, only to be slowly, but consistently, foiled by a series of events, some outside of his control. Kereszi's disquieting, loving photo- graphs of the last decade of the busi- ness, along with business ephemera and family scrapbook photographs, tell the story of this family and its strug- gles with a changing economy, urban decline, family feuds, tragic and un- timely deaths, and the challenges of an independent business. The family and the junkyard also represent larger themes that exist in our culture and economy today. In this photographic series, begun before she pursued formal studies in photography and continued during her years at Bard College and at Yale Uni- versity, Kereszi shows that loss is frequently found in the landscape of the junk- yard, alongside a wealth of useful objects - every possible part for any mechanical function.
Lisa Kereszi is a Lecturer at Yale University, and is the author of three previous books: Governors Island, with Andrew Moore (GIPEC and Public Art Fund, 2004), Fantasies (Damiani, 2008), Fun and Games (Nazraeli Press, 2009).