April 30, 2020

Nostalgia springs eternal?

Callum Stark, 18

Pictures teach you things. These photographs have taught me to distrust nostalgia. They were taken in February this year in California. During the Covid-19 pandemic, these photos have become representative of a perfect time. They have layers of nostalgia. I felt it when I took them – a longing to actualise a romanticised ideal of California; and I feel it now, a longing of a different kind. Forced isolation has, I think, created for the young something akin to temporary retirement; a suspension of our youth. A such, nostalgia is perhaps the most tempting emotion: I’ve primped and preened my memory of that time until it plays in my mind like a perfectly choreographed play. Yet looking through these photos that nostalgia was punctured by the images of people, who, for some reason or another, are removed from mainstream society. Some, however, are removed but others are neglected. Such as the man in L.A. – slumped unconscious – one shoe on, one in his hand. In my photo, he’s blurred, hardly noticeable, whilst those that walk past are in perfect focus. In this the developed image mirrors the frustrations I felt watching as no one chose to see this.

People on the edge., 2020Photography