The magazine of the photo-essay
April 2018 issue
Either Limits or Contradictions
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Nicholas Meyer
I am afraid of dying. This is an attempt to circumvent the inevitable. This project was not begun with that fear in mind, but as this project began to take shape, people in my life died and gave birth and life slowed, and I started to see the cycles forming in the work. I looked back at the photo albums that my father had curated for us; a record to look back on to affirm ourselves of our obvious youth. In these pictures I saw the people who are now gone and looked for those that didn’t get have the chance to be pasted into the pages of my history by my father before he died. The same cycles that were forming in my work had already been laid out in these family photos. The people, who, in my life, I have hugged, loved and mourned become Grandmother, Father and Friend with no names or histories attached in these albums. The story is not my own.   A photograph can only be removed from the reality in which it was conceived, an abstraction of truth. As my world has become more and more vulnerable I
realize that my subjects have become less and less mine and now, as photographs, exist only as stand-ins for whoever, wherever and whatever.   Either Limits or Contradictions is a line taken from a movie. It doesn’t matter what movie or the context of the lines that were delivered before or after it.  The words make sense to me as a way to quickly explain living. It is a story broken into three parts. The first part We Won’t Need Bright lights, Gonna Make our own Lightning is taken from a Neil Diamond song. Rock N’ Roll: Faster paced and selfish. These are images about hedonism, healing and self-discovery. A scrape heals. The world turns. There are no beginnings and no endings. The second book, a line out of a Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem, It Is Heavenly Weather, acts a break, a means to stop and slow down. A call to pay attention to the infinity that came before us and will follow after. The final part, Mists and Exhalations, a line from John Milton’s blank verse epic Paradise Lost, is putting life and death and time and the cyclical nature of the world into view.  It is a critical look at the ups and downs, the permanence impermanence that is are make-up and fear of being alive.   I made these pictures as a reminder that things pass. That I will pass and you will pass, a tree will fall and the sun will set, and then it will happen again and again. It is a memorial of a life being lived. A meditation on pacing and prose and letting things unfold. These pictures are a means of facing our truths and accepting fate.
Alexis and Lydia Hugging.
Alexis Sunbathing.
Dad’s Alter.
Emily's Trailer (Be a Friend).
Empty Wall.
Extension Cords.
Goat Head.
Inner Tube.
Jeff’s hand in light.
Luke apparently floating.
Lydia in the snow.
Marks on Anna’s leg.
Micky Asleep on Emily's Lap.
Moonrise on the dunes.
Olivia in water.
Seth and Anna wrestling.
Solstice party.
The beach.
Tree in fog.
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