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In my ongoing series The Uniformed States of America, I document the commodification of military surplus garments, initially designed for warfare and financed by tax dollars, as they transition from instruments of conflict to symbols in a consumer-driven context. This visual exploration unfolds within surplus stores nationwide, capturing the diverse scenes of individuals, artifacts, and the retail environments that facilitate the peculiar life cycle of these garments.

 

The series critically examines surplus stores' cultural impact and aesthetic allure, offering a contemplative narrative on the intersection between personal identity, the commodification of war gear, and the remnants of warfare embedded in these commercialized artifacts. From store interiors to the individuals interacting with these repurposed military materials, The Uniformed States of America seeks to illuminate the multifaceted dynamics surrounding surplus stores and the oddity of garments born from conflict, finding a second life in the civilian domain.

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