Mère (and her amanuensis Miss Wilson) originally hail from the heartlands of Pennsylvania, namely the city of Altoona. This may go far by way of explaining certain inutilious and cynical attitudes they both harbour.
Altoona was an industrial city, founded in the mid-19th century as a major railway repair works and transportation hub. As such, by the mid-20th century, it was already dedicated to the epitome of ‘pataphysical existence; this fact has driven Mère from the place definitively, as it is clear she is no longer needed there to ensure the generation of entropy. ‘An armpit is an armpit’, as she has perhaps most famously addressed the phenomenon. [For a particularly harrowing account, see the video linked at bottom.]
There is a certain literary/sociological interest to be found in the particular neighbourhood which served as the backdrop for Mère’s earliest childhood memories. Initially developed in the 1920s, this area was fancifully given the Welsh name ‘Llyswen’; in a further flight of fancy, it was decided that the streets coursing through this new neighbourhood of sturdy, decidedly middle class [in the American, not the English sense-ed.] single-family homes were to be named after renowned English Romantics.
The irony of these historically revolutionary, passionate devotees of beauty having their monikers mocked by placement in a place so painfully drab and conventional, reduced to ciphers of a real estate exclusivity that was itself illusory, was not lost on Mère.
And so, on the occasion of what will undoubtedly count as her last visit to this dubious place of her birth, Mère saw fit to commemorate that fact with this series of photographs, entirely shot from the open window of her automobile (taking the least effort possible) on a cold, gray, rainy morning just hours before her final departure on 4 January 2015.