Float Copper - Nich McElroy - Gallery 295 (2016)

Float Copper
Nich McElroy

January 8 - February 20, 2016

“A mobile person sees the landscape she passes through as stationary because she changes faster than it does, but the stationary person sees that everything around is changing.” – Rebecca Solnit
Expanding on a series of images focusing on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, the title for McElroy’s work refers to a geographic phenomenon where glacial activity, over thousands of years, created and exposed nearly pure deposits of copper, floating atop the landscape. The passage of time is written into this landscape in the form of eskers, kames and moraines; change and movement, which is both constant and imperceptible.
Reflecting on these marks of change in this ancient landscape, McElroy turns to the medium of photography and the camera, which records very short intervals of time, chronicling moments that can never be relived, frozen into the emulsion of the film. Time is both expanded and broken down, folding in on itself within his images. His images of landscapes, still lifes and industry all point to the temporal nature of the medium, while bordering on both the documentary and poetic.
McElroy not only contemplates the changing landscape due to shifting tectonic plates, erosion, industry and time, but also on the medium of photography’s flattening of space and time into a two dimensional image. Inevitably, Float Copper creates a layered narrative, questioning the fixity of place, our relationship to the landscape and the fleeting nature of our existence when placed against the expanded time beyond human perception.

Exhibition text by Mike Love, co-curated with Patryk Stasieczek.