The Goat, 1989
"... North America is a dream for places of the (banal and spooky) kind. Or a nightmare, if you take a closer look. It's a strange, lonely garage that Wall has chosen as a setting for his scene The Goat (in the sense of a scapegoat) which depicts four boys threatening a fifth with a punishment he can't escape.
buildings and landscapes which are not part of urban
planning - not yet absorbed or already abandoned -
were described by John Brinckerhoff Jackson, an
American writer and instructor, as "vernacular". He
pointed out that the word, deriving from the Latin
root meaning "native, domestic", denotes a common or
indigenous language. Jackson, however, uses it to
refer to anything from patched-up cars, to houses
built in the absence of architects, to what he
called the "commercial vernacular" - meaning the
uncontrolled industrial growth of a boundless
Excerpt from the article "Crooked Paths" by Ulf Erdmann-Ziegler, concerning the works of Jeff Wall and the tradition of American vernacular photography.