As a child my father kept meticulous photo albums. It was part of his weekly routine. Every Thursday.
Being a dedicated scrap-booker, he would sit at his table, scattered with snapshots, poring over the images, cropping out the parts that were unnecessary, and filling in the blanks with illegible captions.
The books date back to before I was born.
When I pull albums from the shelf I rarely look at the ones that I am in or even the ones from my lifetime, but rather I go back, time and time again, to the books that are of my parents and their friends; the pictures from before the children and the family. In these photos my parents look like me; their skin fits and their clothes don’t. The faces of people I’ve never met surround them. In fact, my parents themselves are just the likeness of the people who clothed and fed me. There is no way for me to know who they were at that time, but there is a kinship that I can understand and a fantasy that I can create. Each photograph is the vignette of a story that is only true because I believe it.
A photograph is in its essence a fantasy. It is the difference between truth and reality. Reality is what really happened, the facts, while truth is how we remember it. How it exists in our minds.
History is subjective. It is how we choose to publish our past that makes it real or true. The historian writes from facts from periodicals, but the writer of a historical memoir is writing from personal experience. The autobiographer is writing with an inability to shed the nostalgia for ones own life history.
This is how I view my photography; hung up in its own subjectivity. A fantasy. A partial fiction, removed from reality.
Nick Meyer was born in 1981 and grew up in western Massachusetts. He earned his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and his MFA from California College of the Arts. He is the recipient of the Pace Gallery Prize and the Barclay Simpson Award. His work has been show both nationally and internationally. His first monograph, Pattern Language was released in 2010. He lives and works in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Artist’s Website: nmeyerphoto.blogspot.com