ALYSSA
MCCARN

Considering the shift in what daily life looks like currently, I think most people, including myself, are in the habit of yearning for the past. There are certain places that conjure up feelings of nostalgia- grade school, playgrounds, malls, movie theaters, etc- these sort of glorified American spaces. With the increased risk of illness in being at these places, the normally idealized American life has been replaced with a sense of fear. There’s also an amount of fatigue that has overcome the American population, either from the stress of the many steps now required to safely join society, or from the isolation the pandemic has inevitably caused. Photographing these American spaces whilst empty and at night would be representative of the once idealized American setting now turned to an environment of fear and isolation.

Most of these spaces relate to childhood memories as well as spaces of freedom. When you’re a child, the playground presents itself as a boundaryless space for releasing energy. As you grow older, being dropped off at the mall or the movies feels like a glimpse of independence even without a car. However, these images don’t feel warm and inviting, they feel cold and isolated primarily due to the empty parking lots and lack of people where you would expect them to be. They are places often left behind and forgotten about, but when we see them, they still bring back memories of usually better or simpler times. Even though these images feel muted and lifeless, there is still a yearning to be present in them.


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