Postcards From The Past by Elena Cremona [Pre-Orders Available]
Perhaps the hardest thing about losing a lover
is to watch the year repeat its days. It is as if I
could dip my hand down
into time and scoop up blue and
green lozenges of April heat a year
ago in another country.
– Anne Carson, The Glass Essay
The last time Elena Cremona drove through the vast, alluvial plains of the Mojave Desert, her relationship was ending. As the two of them – Elena and her lover – wound their way through the low, curved spines of mountains and the huddled forms of gathered rocks, she remembers most vividly the silence that swelled between them. Later, as they roamed that place on foot, Elena separating away onto her own path in search of solitude, that same silence spilled over into the stillness that surrounded them. In relativity to human experience, landscapes are static things – their changes are slow, their ecosystems cyclical, and any given day is likely to unfold within them much the same as the one prior; it is us that moves through landscapes, shapes and colours them with our emotions, and remembers them ‘before’. Elena and her lover were oscillating at the very edges of one another’s orbits by the time these pictures were taken, and their parting was a sort of fracturing in slow motion across months and geographies. The two of them had travelled from Colombia to California together, her taking pictures of him throughout, and both of them feeling around the edges of language until one or the other was able to call it the end. In many ways, the photographs here tell us that. Twenty black and white pictures of the creeping splits in the surfaces of rocks, and Joshua trees most often seen alone, their fronds twisting towards the sky; none of them are of him. She called them postcards for the way she was feeling as she took them, wanting to remain in place geographically, but return to another time. For a while, this landscape – Elena’s very favourite – was synonymous with that time, but she will visit again soon. The next time she does, she'll take new photographs and weave new moments in the arid heat, and the ones we see here will run quietly beneath them, lingering as memories tend to do.