Nick Meyer (B.1981) lives and works in Western Massachusetts with his wife, dog and two young daughters. He is the recipient of the Pace Gallery Award and the Barclay Simpson Prize. In 2005 he earned his BFA at Massachusetts College of Art and his MFA from California College of the Arts in 2008. His project “Either Limits or Contradictions” (Published, Daylight 2017) has appeared in TIME Lightbox, Huck Magazine and Ain’t-Bad. His work has been shown both nationally and internationally and is included in numerous private collections.
I walk the same streets I grew up on, but I’m moving without direction. Everything is as familiar as it is foreign. This town once thrived through its industry, producing the literal nuts and bolts that held the rest of the country together. Where that factory stood now stands a nursing home. Transient in nature with its rooms filling and vacating daily. Meandering up and down main street, I see the same faces day after day. Lost in their inertia. Day after day sitting on the same benches watching the same red bricks slowly, slowly turn to dust and crumble. These streets were built over 200 years ago. Buildings have been erected, razed, burnt and rebuilt, but for all that trouble the feelings of stasis and emptiness still loom large. The more I move the more lost I get. I see the same things on the same streets. I turn and look again, headed down a side street this time. The houses that have been there for hundreds of years, fill and empty at a generational pace, leaving the residue of history on its painted and repainted Victorian clapboards. But those are the lucky ones. Some show the fate of neglectfulness, returning to their foundation one board or brick at a time. People on these streets are subject to a similar if not modern predicament. Filling the same spaces with a specific emptiness, neglected or forgotten until their shingles slip from their roofs, and their panes crack. A roadmap makes it appear to be an X marking the spot. Two major roads converging right here. Perhaps this is what keeps this town from sinking into a record as another industrial town devoured by a culture that no longer needs it. The same but different. The landscape is shifting, not changing just shifting, stuck in its own history but affected by the world that is passing through.
To expand on my statement above. I am working with the poetics of place with this work, while I re-explore the shifting landscape of the rural industrial town I grew up in. The title “The Local” is meant to be taken two ways. As the person; someone who is familiar with a specific place, and in turn are in fact part of the landscape. But “The Local” is also referring to place itself. Perhaps pronounced “Low-Kal”. In this meaning, it is less about the watcher and more about depiction. I am particularly interested in the ambiguity and curiosities of the people and places that let the viewer enter, relate and understand something about modern life in a post-industrial world.
To view more of Nick’s work please visit his website.