The saguaro cactus has long been synonymous
of the American west and a symbol of rugged
in a harsh environment. The most anthropomorphic
the saguaro’s majestic verticality soars against the
sweep of desert scrub.
Denniston’s cacti, their trunks and limbs cradled and
braced, tap that legendary toughness to add
to their potential as icons of environmental
And subtly embedded in the DNA of these barely
photographs are historical American texts of social
political aspiration and idealism, such as 1863’s
Proclamation, 1872’s Yellowstone Act or 1883’s
Colossus, a poem by Emma Lazarus.
his photo-text series of the 1990s, fictions, in
which straight photographs are confounded by
overlaid texts, and his ongoing series of video
stills, static works in a medium meant to
Denniston’s new photo-constructions whisper
artifice in an age of wide-open digital manipulation.