A Poor Sort of Memory

By Tracy L Chandler

A Poor Sort of Memory is a collection of photographs made in and around my hometown in the California desert. As I revisit old hideouts in concrete washes and private bunks in rock formations, I am reminded of my youthful desperation to find both a sense of belonging and an independent self. But memory is like a slippery fish and the more I try to pin it down the more it escapes my grasp. 

Now as I return to these spaces to photograph, I embrace memory as the unreliable narrator and use the tracings of my personal history to craft a new loose photographic fiction. Through metaphor and staged constructions, I explore vulnerability, isolation, and the awkward process of coming of age. 

In the image series as well as the photobook, I weave together landscapes, symbolic objects, and portraiture of my son, Eli, in an effort to bear witness to his unique maturation amidst the workings of my recollections of a past long gone.