Nich Hance McElroy

Victoria, 2014

Victoria, 2014

Ahndraya Parlato and Gregory Halpern, from East of the Sun, West of the Moon

"These photographs were made on the Solstices and Equinoxes of 2012 and 2013. They were made wherever we happened to be—our home, travelling, or wherever we found ourselves on those four days of the year.

While photographing, we thought loosely about time, about what time looks like to each of us—time of day, time of year, time in the sense of a lifespan. Not surprisingly, certain themes recurred—birth and death, transition and renewal, lightness and darkness.

The title is borrowed from a Norwegian folk tale. We liked the idea of trying to rely on two continually shifting landmarks as navigational guides, how disorienting that idea is, and how it creates an elusive or impossible place.”

A postcard from the Bakken, North Dakota.

nhmcelroy:

I made these images three Novembers ago in the town where my mom grew up, and where most of her six siblings (and my cousins, and the innumerable children of my cousins) still live. I didn’t photograph the nuclear plant or the catholic church, or the boarded-up grocery store (Buffalo, MN opened a Walmart), but I spent half a roll photographing the big clumps of reed-grass that stand like hay-stacks in the marshes, and another half on the mysterious piles of churned asphalt that stand in wasteland lots. I had sincere hopes that this spacious avenue - lost family, plumbing the past - would lead into a new territory, but instead it narrowed, and finally closed at a cul-de-sac. I went back to Seattle and back to New Mexico and met Aubrey and etc. 

While correcting colors and dust-spotting the negatives I’ve felt the same sense of listlessness in which the pictures were taken, and it’s a little uncanny to be simultaneously in the brightest, most beautiful fall day in Vancouver, and staying in my grandparents house, driving an antiseptic-smelling rental car in the snow, drinking by myself in the childhood bedroom that Betty and Judy and Karen shared, and mumbling Catholic prayers before each meal. I guess that I put these up as a way of practicing in public - not because there’s some vital truth that development or refinement would destroy, but because they’ve sat for three years collecting dust, and I’m airing old ghosts (Halloween is later this week).  

The working title was “The Color Of My Mother’s Eyes,” which I abandoned when I got to early-winter Minnesota. Everything felt white or grey or brown except the painted metal stadium and the sad plastic flowers that were pushed to the edges of the cemetery. But without another name that’s what the folder these images live in has been called. 

Anyway, here’s a part of those four days in November, 2010. 


"In the tense silence the continual buzzing of the horseflies was the only audible sound, that and the constant rain beating down in the distance, and, uniting the two, the ever more frequent scritch-scratch of the bent acacia trees outside, and the strange nightshift work of the bugs in the table legs and in various parts of the counter whose irregular pulse measured out the small parcels of time, apportioning the narrow space into which a word, a sentence or a movement might perfectly fit. The entire end-of-October night was beating with a single pulse, its own strange rhythm sounding through trees and rain and mud in a manner beyond words or vision: a vision present in the low light, in the slow passage of darkness, in the blurred shadows, in the working of tired muscles; in the silence, in its human subjects, in the undulating surface of the metaled road; in the hair moving to a different beat than do the dissolving fibers of the body; growth and decay on their divergent paths; all these thousands of echoing rhythms, this confusing clatter of night noises, all parts of an apparently common stream, that is the attempt to forget despair; though behind things other things appear as if by mischief, and once beyond the power of the eye they don’t hang together. So with the door left open as if forever, with the lock that will never open. There is a chasm, a crevice."
- László Krasznahorkai, Satantango

"In the tense silence the continual buzzing of the horseflies was the only audible sound, that and the constant rain beating down in the distance, and, uniting the two, the ever more frequent scritch-scratch of the bent acacia trees outside, and the strange nightshift work of the bugs in the table legs and in various parts of the counter whose irregular pulse measured out the small parcels of time, apportioning the narrow space into which a word, a sentence or a movement might perfectly fit. The entire end-of-October night was beating with a single pulse, its own strange rhythm sounding through trees and rain and mud in a manner beyond words or vision: a vision present in the low light, in the slow passage of darkness, in the blurred shadows, in the working of tired muscles; in the silence, in its human subjects, in the undulating surface of the metaled road; in the hair moving to a different beat than do the dissolving fibers of the body; growth and decay on their divergent paths; all these thousands of echoing rhythms, this confusing clatter of night noises, all parts of an apparently common stream, that is the attempt to forget despair; though behind things other things appear as if by mischief, and once beyond the power of the eye they don’t hang together. So with the door left open as if forever, with the lock that will never open. There is a chasm, a crevice."

László Krasznahorkai, Satantango