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Nick Meyer, between life and death


I am afraid of dying. These pictures are an attempt to examine and confront the anxiety and eventuality that, because we all were born, time will pass and so will we.

This project was not begun with that fear in mind, but over the course of five years as people 
in my life died and gave birth and life slowed, I started to see the cycles forming in the work. I looked back into the family photo archives my father had created for us, a record to look back on to affirm for ourselves our obvious youth. In these pictures I saw the people who are now gone and looked for the people who never had the opportunity to be pasted into the pages of my history by my father before he died. The same cycles that were forming in my work were already in these family photos. The people who, in my life, I have hugged, loved, touched, and mourned become Grandmother, Father, and Friend with no names or histories attached in these albums.

The story is not my own. As my world has become more and more vulnerable, the people in my pictures have become less and less mine and exist now as stand-ins for whomever, wherever, and whatever.

Either Limits or Contradictions is told in three parts. The titles of the three different parts are taken from a Neil Diamond song, a Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem, and a John Milton poem. They are all taken out of context but reflect the underlying feeling of the images that follow them.

The first part, We Won’t Need Bright Lights, Gonna Make Our Own Lightning, is fast-paced and selfish, looking at the hedonism, healing, indestructibility, and self-discovery that fill up a younger life. A scrape heals. The world turns. Things don’t have beginnings or endings.

Part two, It Is Heavenly Weather, is a break, a means to stop and slow down. A call to pay attention to an infinity that came before and what will follow after.

The final part, Mists and Exhalations, explores life and death and time and the cyclical nature of the world. The images are more conscious of the ups and downs, the permanence and impermanence, that is the makeup and fear of being alive.

I made these pictures as a reminder that things pass. That I will pass and you will pass, a tree will fall and the sun will set, and then it will happen again. It is a memorial of a life being lived. A meditation on pacing and prose and letting things unfold. These pictures are a means of facing our truths and accepting our fate.

Nick Meyer


Nick Meyer, Either Limits or Contradictions
Published by Daylight Books

This text is the introduction to Either Limits or Contradictions by Nick Meyer.

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