Boom/Bust by Josef Jacques

Issue 28

Boom/Bust are images of Merced California. Merced is the culmination of the booms and subsequent busts that have been the center of this city's history. In making these images, I am using the many languages of photography to show the remnants of these incarnations, where they fit in history, and construct stories. These stories are not necessarily in the images but between them, and are about this specific place but also about the promise of California and the American dream, the realities of those dreams and the hope the created them and propels the city forward. In the many stories that are Merced, there are the four economic iterations that I have chose to focus on, that of the railtown, the farmtown, the roadside town, and the collegetown. Of course this is people's hometown, and though it is not mine, it is my mothers. Using family stories, folklore, newspapers, and local and state archives as source material, I strive to speak to the hope that exists and look to the next Merced.

Josef Jacques is a San Francisco, CA based artist.
To see more of Josef's work, please visit his website.

  Pacific Railroad. Merced, CA 2009 

Pacific Railroad. Merced, CA 2009 

  Donut King. Merced, CA 2009 

Donut King. Merced, CA 2009 

  Cody at Country Villa La Sierra Care Center. Merced, CA 2011 

Cody at Country Villa La Sierra Care Center. Merced, CA 2011 

  Bear Creek. Merced, CA 2009 

Bear Creek. Merced, CA 2009 

  Pacific and Yosemite Valley RR crossing site. Merced, CA 2009 

Pacific and Yosemite Valley RR crossing site. Merced, CA 2009 

  Future Walmart Distribution site. Merced, CA 2009 

Future Walmart Distribution site. Merced, CA 2009 

  Cat and Cody at processing plant. Merced, CA 2011 

Cat and Cody at processing plant. Merced, CA 2011 

  Post potato harvest. Merced, CA 2009 

Post potato harvest. Merced, CA 2009 

  Felled almond orchard. Merced, CA 2011 

Felled almond orchard. Merced, CA 2011 

  Tree in front of Mom's childhood home. Merced, CA 2009 

Tree in front of Mom's childhood home. Merced, CA 2009 

  Merced Truck Stop. Merced, CA 2009 

Merced Truck Stop. Merced, CA 2009 

  Class of 2009, Vagabond Inn. Merced, CA 2009 

Class of 2009, Vagabond Inn. Merced, CA 2009 

  Cat and Cody on Snelling Highway. Merced, CA 2011 

Cat and Cody on Snelling Highway. Merced, CA 2011 

  Century Bowl, Merced, CA 2009 

Century Bowl, Merced, CA 2009 

  Mom and brother and mom's childhood home. Merced, CA 2009 

Mom and brother and mom's childhood home. Merced, CA 2009 

  Friday night game at Merced High School. Merced, CA 2010 

Friday night game at Merced High School. Merced, CA 2010 

  Bellevue Ranch privacy wall. Merced, CA 2009 

Bellevue Ranch privacy wall. Merced, CA 2009 

  Cat and Cody at the end of Main St. Merced, CA 2011 

Cat and Cody at the end of Main St. Merced, CA 2011 

  El Paseo development. Merced, CA 2008 

El Paseo development. Merced, CA 2008 

  Cul-de-sac at night. Merced, CA 2008 

Cul-de-sac at night. Merced, CA 2008