Melanie Metz: Davie
Sometimes work crosses my path that makes me want to see more. and more. and a little bit more. With the work of Melanie Metz, I haven’t yet put my finger on why–the square format, the narrative of each image, the connection to community, childhood, and the natural world, her portraits and skillful seeing–her ability to transform the ordinary. Melanie is early in her photography journey, but she has already made big strides forward and I can’t wait to see what’s to come. She is also a talented and documentary photographer, as seen through her photo essays on Broadly, part of VICE. Her work will be part of With Our Own Eyes, a group show at RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco, California, opening on August 3rd – September 6th, 2016.
Melanie Metz, a visual artist born in 1992, resides in South Florida. She is primarily a film-based photographer featuring work in publications such as Juxtapoz, Broadly, and many more. This summer she completed a fellowship at the Lacawac Artists Residency.
I grew up in Davie, Florida, a sleepy and mostly disregarded suburb. Horse trailers park next to the state road connecting the suburb to the intercostal homes of Fort Lauderdale beach.
This body of work attaches my personal relationship to my hometown. However, while exploring this particular culture I also investigate the assimilations of what a culture represents, the breaking off and creation of subcultures, the recognition of those subcultures as subcultures and the process of discovering the characteristics constituting those particular communities. Where do our communities come together and where do we pull apart and how does this manifest in our interactions with our environment around us?
We live in an age where technology connects and isolates people from one another. Many of us find ourselves, either by choice or not, spending massive amounts of time on our technological devices, becoming hyperaware of our self-representation on the internet, weakening our connection to the natural world. Does this decrease in our connection with the external world make our interactions with one another and our natural environment incomplete?
I seek out clues to these questions within the unmediated movements of the people around me in their uncontrived settings. My portraits portray people who manage to maintain a close relationship to their outdoor environments. Many of the images exhibit children, spontaneous and uninhibited humans who are not preoccupied with public correctness and have yet to become fully aware of the digital age we live in.
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