I Love You, I'm Leaving

Matt Eich

2015 - Ongoing

Virginia, United States

My introduction to photography was in childhood, as my grandmother was dying of Alzheimer’s disease. The hopelessness of her plight triggered something within me, and when my grandfather handed me a camera, making photographs became a way of stabilizing the insecurity of memory and accessing emotional resonance. If we are at risk of forgetting too much of our world, and ourselves, photography is the antidote.

I created this work during a time of general domestic unease, when my parents separated after 33 years of marriage, my siblings all experienced drastic changes in their lives, my wife, children and I moved to a new city, and my last living grandparent passed away.

The title of this series, "I Love You, I’m Leaving", stems from the constant rhythm of my peripatetic life. It holds true when I leave my family to photograph strangers, and leave strangers to return home.

This series borrows from personal experience, and the visual language of the everyday in order to create a fictional account that mirrors my reality. Photographs are reductions, distillations, half-truths and complete fabrications. They can only describe the surface of things, while I am interested in the intangible - memory and emotional resonance.

Despite our intimacy, the people I am closest to are unknowable, and will always remain a mystery to me. I photograph with the knowledge that our place in this world is tenuous, comprised of little more than memory and story. Memory is fragile; the moments are fleeting and have to be wrestled into a permanent state.

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  • Comfort & Care, Charlottesville, Virginia. 2016.

  • Swan, Staunton, Virginia. 2016.

  • Backyard haircut, Norfolk, Virginia. 2015.

  • Exit through the side door, Cleveland, Ohio. 2016.

  • Plastic-Wrapped Memory, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 2017.

  • Melissa under the sheets, Charlottesville, Virginia. 2016.

  • Kudzu, Buckingham, Virginia. 2016.

  • Hatching, Charlottesville, Virginia. 2016.

  • Maddie's braids, Charlottesville, Virginia. 2016.

  • Impression, Smithfield, Virginia. 2016.

  • Cartwheel, Staunton, Virginia. 2016.

  • Dad, Smithfield, Virginia. 2016.

  • Dissolution, Charlottesville, Virginia. 2015.

  • RIP Jack Jr., Charlottesville, Virginia. 2016.

  • Melissa (mascara running), Charlottesville, Virginia. 2016.

  • My parents after putting their dog to sleep, Suffolk, Virginia. 2015.

  • Melissa, Staunton, Virginia. 2016.

  • Maddie on iPad, Richmond, Virginia. 2016.

  • Wardrobe, Smithfield, Virginia. 2016.

  • Leaving, Elizaville, New York. 2016.