About the Photographer
American, b. 1977
In this project, Andres Gonzalez probes the cyclic phenomenon of school shootings in the United States and their impact on communities and the national psyche. For over six years Gonzalez visited seven of the deadliest school shootings in recent decades, weaving together photographs, interviews, and forensic documents to examine the recurring tragedy of mass shootings and the lingering aftermath experienced by the communities in which they occur. Taking particular interest in the memorial objects left at the scene by mourners, most of whom do not know the victims, Gonzalez contemplated the rituals around healing and how we attempt to make sense of such abominations. For Gonzalez, the fact that most of the communities have fastidiously catalogued and preserved the objects while keeping those archives entirely out of public view is an interesting parallel to how we try to paradoxically remember and forget these events. Similarly, the ordinariness and quietude of his unpeopled landscapes conceal the harrowing history they hold. The project’s title comes from the Japanese tradition of folding 1,000 paper cranes as a symbol of hope and healing in response to death and disaster. It also evokes ideas of repetition and transformation, appropriate for school shootings, which seem to continually occur.