A Poor Sort of Memory

Tracy L Chandler

A POOR SORT OF MEMORY is a collection of photographs made in and around my hometown in the California desert. As I revisit old hideouts in concrete washes and private bunks in rock formations, I am reminded of my youthful desperation to find both a sense of belonging and an independent self. But the past is a like a slippery fish and the more I try to pin it down, the more it escapes my grasp. Now as I return to these spaces to photograph, I embrace memory as the unreliable narrator and use the tracings of my personal history to craft a new loose photographic fiction. Through metaphor and staged constructions, I explore vulnerability, isolation, and the awkward process of coming of age. In the image series as well as the photobook maquette, I weave together, landscapes, symbolic objects, and portraiture of my son, Eli, in an effort to use photography as a flawed means of bearing witness to my son’s unique maturation amidst the recollections of my own past long gone.

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