Polaroid Week: Nathan Pearce: Hello, (Go Away)
I was first introduced to Nathan Pearce’s work when he submitted his project Midwest Dirt for a PhotoNOLA exhibition in 2015. The quiet elegance of his vision struck an immediate chord with me, and I knew we had to find a venue to feature his work. Nathan’s black and white landscapes, portraits, and details from life in the rural Midwest contain a poignant poetry of place that continue to deepen over time. Book and zine making is an integral part of his practice, and Nathan has a gift for sequencing images to draw us into his understated narratives.
Nathan’s newest project, Hello (Go Away), continues his thematic trajectory even while switching formats to Polaroid film and expanding the geographical boundaries. As a pandemic project, the work resonates with a haunted interiority that perfectly captures its moment in time, yet also manages to feel timeless. Pearce has released a new book through Brown Owl Press
Nathan Pearce (born 1986) is an artist based in Southern Illinois. Pearce works in book and zine making and photography. Pearce’s publications are held in several artists’ book and library collections including those at MoMA, The Met, Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Center for Creative Photography. His work has been exhibited in solo shows at the PhotoNola festival, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Nizhniy Tagil Museum of Fine Arts, and The Rangefinder Gallery in Chicago. He has been published in over 200 books, zines, and exhibition catalogs; as well as online in The Huffington Post, The British Journal of Photography, and Juxtapoz.
Follow Nathan Pearce on Instagram:@pearcephoto
Hello, (Go Away)
I was given a new polaroid camera a few months after I met Meghan. Shooting pictures with it brought me back to two decades earlier, when I first started as a photographer after becoming involved in the DIY and punk scene. That scene inspired me to make whatever art I could with the tools I had available. I took my hand-me-down polaroid camera with me everywhere. In 2021 I drove to Nashville, Tennessee, every weekend to see Meghan. I would shoot whenever I could in the still, mostly locked-down world. In this spirit of my DIY scene roots, I used the tools I had available to me and my all-in-one printer/scanner at work, to make scans. The results are imperfect, the scans aren’t the best, and there is some dust, but the pictures show what that era felt like, driving between the Midwest and South to see my new love. It was an adventure.
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