… an inverse constellation, seen only from space: lone figures,
dispersed across continents, entranced by vanishing points, alone against the
Nicholas Muellner’s most recent image-text
book journeys through shifting tableaux of exile and solitude in the digital
age. Seductive, disorienting, informative and allegorical, In Most Tides an Island is at once a glimpse of contemporary
post-Soviet queer life, a meditation on solitude and desire, and an inquiry
into the nature of photography and poetry in a world consumed by cruelty,
longing, resignation and hope.
This work emerged from two very different
impulses: to witness the lives of closeted gay men in provincial Russia, and to
compose the gothic tale of a solitary woman on a remote tropical island. Along
the way, these disparate pursuits – one predicated on documentation, the other
on invention - unexpectedly converged. Shot along Baltic, Caribbean and Black
Sea coastlines, distant landscapes met at the rocky point of Alone. From that
vista, they ask: what do intimacy and solitude mean in a radically alienated
but hyper-connected world?
Most Tides an Island challenges photographic and
literary conventions, collapsing portraiture and landscape, documentary and fiction,
metaphor and description into the artist’s distinct form of hybrid narrative.
This shape-shifting work is threaded together by the voice of the wandering
narrator and the unexpected visual echoes between these far-flung landscapes. A
mysterious stream of faceless but expressive online profile pictures further
links the divergent stories. These anonymous figures serve as an emotional
semaphore, signaling across genres and geographies and between language and
Five years in the making, In Most Tides an Island is the
long-awaited follow-up to Muellner’s critically acclaimed image-text books, The Amnesia Pavilions (2011) and The Photograph Commands Indifference
(2009). Like those earlier works, this book profoundly intertwines language and
image into an original hybrid form of photographic literature. In Most
Tides an Island questions the fundamental natures of documentary and
metaphor, the emotional functions of photography, and the always animate but
unbridgeable space between words and pictures.
Publication date: March 2017 Format: Hardcover Edition: 500 Size: 16.5 x 24 cm Number of pages: 344 Type of printing: Offset ISBN: