© Tracy L Chandler

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Tracy L Chandler

Los Angeles, California

Artist Statement

A Poor Sort of Memory is a collection of photographs made in and around my hometown in the California desert. As I revisit old hideouts in concrete washes and private bunks in rock formations, I am reminded of my youthful desperation to find both a sense of belonging and an independent self. I would escape the chaotic deadness of my family home and take refuge in the edges.

Now I return to these spaces to photograph. This land is strikingly beautiful but also feels both claustrophobically familiar and alien with disbelonging. There is ambivalence as I explore the landscape of my past. I contend with the conflict of the seemingly objective reality before me versus the subjective truth of my memories. As I work, I embrace this unreliable narrator and use the tracings of my history to craft a new loose photographic fiction.

Through metaphor and staged constructions, I explore vulnerability, isolation, and the awkward process of coming of age. Beyond landscape and objects, the work also includes portraits of my own son, Eli, in an effort to bear witness to his coming of age and aid in the reflection and interpretation of my own. I use photography as a flawed means of trying to preserve his maturation amidst the recollections of my own past long gone. In all, the work is not intended to be my, Eli’s, or anyone’s literal story, moreover my hope is that it takes on its own narrative trajectory and prompts questions of the viewer’s own stance on the past, present, and future.

© Tracy L Chandler

Tracy L Chandler's Portfolio

© Tracy L Chandler

Artist Biography

Tracy L Chandler is a photographic artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work explores peripheral communities and her own personal story reflected through portraiture and narrative. Her photographs address themes of memory, belonging, seeing, and being seen. Tracy earned her MFA from the Photography Program at the Hartford Art School in 2021 where she also earned the Mary Frey Book Grant. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and institutions in the United States and abroad.



© Tracy L Chandler

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