November 2016 Artist in Residence: Nathan Pearce
This month, we are welcoming Nathan Pearce as our Artist in Residence!
Nathan Pearce is a photographer and zine maker based in southern Illinois. He also works in an auto body repair shop. Nathan runs Same Coin Press along with Claire Cushing, which is a small publishing project that produces zines and photobooks. Nathan will be working in the lab this month to produce prints from his series The Farm.
Read our Q + A with Nathan to get some insight into his practice.
It seems that though the work you create is personal, its production is integrated into your daily life. Would you talk a bit about your work’s beginnings and how you come at photography?
I started making work that I took seriously while living in New Haven Connecticut about 8 years ago. I had a friend who worked in a darkroom/ digital lab around the corner from the bookstore/ cafe where I worked. He would sneak me in after work and help me make prints. I was immediately hooked. A few years later I moved back to the rural Midwestern town where I was born and I started my first real project called Midwest Dirt. I was living my life and had a camera with me. Nothing was planned. Now I plan out shooting a bit more but most of the things I photograph are part of my day to day life. My work is about home and away and sometimes about the tension between the two. I mostly photograph the Midwest, but even when I am making work elsewhere it is in the context of being away from home. In that way the Midwest is always present in the work.
How do you feel the medium of the book or zine helps inform the photographs you make, and how do you feel it informs the reception the work? What changes when this work is presented in a gallery setting?
Zines are a very accessible medium. They are cheap, portable and to me an ideal way to look at and present photos. I don't live around any galleries so I gravitated to zine making and self publishing. Because zines are the medium I work with the projects that I work on are created as if they will be laid out in a zine. Some projects I do are only made for zines and never make it to the internet, a gallery or anywhere else. They live only in a short and fast zine. If I'm lucky enough to have work in a gallery it's likely that the work has been in a zine or a book first so the way the work is laid out on a wall is informed by how it was already laid out in print.
Would you talk a little bit about the importance of collectivity in your practice?
I live in an area completely secluded from other photographers and artists. To counteract that I try to work with as many people as possible. I am constantly collaborating.I think as a result I have become better at what I do and the resulting zines and projects with other photographers have been more interesting than anything I could have done on my own.
What will you be working on during your residency at LATITUDE?
The main thing I'm going to be working on is printing for my show, The Farm, that will open at The Rangefinder Gallery in December.
Nathan's residency is generously sponsored by Moab paper.