Emile is a Macedonian-Australian and African-American dual-citizen photographer born in Los Angeles and raised in Melbourne, Australia with roots in Austin, Texas, Iberia Parish, and Florina, Greece. He is interested in photographing the landscape as a way meditate on ones personal and family histories, and how current and historical social, economic and environmental issues, alter the way one traverses and sees the world in front of them. He received his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2015, and currently teaches photography at Rutgers Univeristy and Parsons The New School for Design, and is a staff photographer at the Princeton University Art Museum.
Monuments Are Forever
In the Miwok dialect Yohhe’meti, the origin of Yosemite, means “Those Who Kill”. In a game of eye spy with my little eye, something beginning with the letters TC means ‘tucky chicken. It was strange that West Memphis felt so familiar, when I didn’t know all that much about the possibly unsolved child murders that were blamed on “satanic” teenage metalheads. Turns out the familiarity was probably genetic memory of my ancestors who settled and/or where enslaved in the area (according to Ancestry.com).
In many places there is still a “wrong side of the tracks” that is still demarcated by train tracks. Walking anywhere seems unheard of in Los Angeles, Mecca (California) or Dallas but, if you go looking for signs of Trump on an 8000 mile road trip and only see MAGA merch 3 times, then what did you really see? I have nephews named Delron, Divine and Daniel who’s parents are not my siblings. But that’s OK, I love them all the same.
Monuments Are Forever is a meditation on the American Landscape after the death of my father. It is a search for family, identity and memory, and a document of the embedded beauty, and violence of an ever changing history.
To view more of Emile’s work please visit his website.