For over ten years, Pieter Ten Hoopen documented the small town of Hungry Horse, located close to Glacier National Park in Montana. In this small selection from the project, you’ll get to meet the people of Hungry Horse, the landscape, the hope, and the beauty of a small town.
‘I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition and even some affection, but with Montana it is love.’
These are the only words John Steinbeck used to describe Montana in his novel Travels with Charley: In Search of America, which was published in 1960. In 2003, just a little before the US presidential elections, I decided that I wanted to document the USA through one town. One small environment. George W. Bush was elected for the second time, and fighting terrorism. This is the story of a small town, Hungry Horse, situated in the Montana Rocky Mountains, just a few miles from Glacier National Park. Hungry Horse and its neighbouring area mostly depend on the summer tourist season. Winters are quit, and there is little work in the canyon. Glacier National Park provides many with work, and keeps large parts of the canyon going. Over the years many local industries have disappeared or been relocated to other places. The recession of 2007 hit this area hard, like so many other small towns throughout the US. I have been documenting this area for over 10 years. I have seen people come and go from the canyon. My
photographic documentation is not so much factual as emotional. The work itself is based on a state of mind through the people and the landscapes. The film we produced over the years is based on interviews done with people who were involved in the project from almost the first beginning. I think it took me more then ten years to understand this place and see beyond the clichés of the USA. I have travelled and worked in the US for more than 15years, on numerous projects, but I keep coming back to John Steinbeck’s quote: I’m in Love with Montana.
To see more of Pieter Ten Hoopens work, visit: pietertenhoopen.com
Words and photos: Pieter Ten Hoopen