Characterized by the dynamic nature of the land-sea interaction, barrier islands are places with many shape narratives, and inversions. A barrier island is ephemeral, an instance of simultaneity, above and below what we call the surface. Mangroves straddle these mirror worlds, walking on water, making something out of nothing. Light rushes through every keyhole and seam in palm forest canopies, which is another sort of inundation. The islands are always being eroded and redeposited, their permanence rooted in impermanence, existing where many forces converge. Everything residual from the land and the sea is ultimately represented there. And in that history, that recording, that perpetual washing over of it all, beautiful things and ugly things, there is a prelapsarian magic, which is always starting over, clean. This work is metaphorical. It’s about demarcation and intermediation. It’s about origins, and going back. It’s about the paradoxes of individual experience within the enormous, scary, and magical system.

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Cecilia Montalvo and Charlie McCullers
"Barrier Island, Study No. 30"
wet plate collodion/archival pigment print

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