Sigmund Freud famously declared that 'every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance.' For Nicholas Muellner, the same could be said of every photograph. From his unique perspective as a writer/photographer, Muellner functions as both analyst and patient in this deep dive into the significance of pictures.
"A quite brilliant book. I devoured Nicholas Muellner’s exquisite writing and perfectly constructed stream of bright consciousness in one sitting. It is a very generous book (it is an adventure) and I suspect that every reader will appreciate the open, personal, poetic and erudite call that Muellner gives to think through the meaning of photography at this juncture in history." –Charlotte Cotton
Lacuna Park is a collection of written and visual essays by the influential American photographer, writer and curator Nicholas Muellner, best known for his photobooks The Amnesia Pavilions (named one of Time magazine's best photobooks of 2011) and In Most Tides an Island.
The essays gathered here intertwine personal accounts, historical and contemporary criticism, fictional narrative and philosophical inquiry to ask: what is existentially at stake in the making and viewing of photographs?
Created between 2009 and 2019, these writings reflect a decade of epochal shifts in the technologies and contexts of image-making: the growth of smartphones and the ascendance of social media, and the resulting transformations in visual and social culture. This innovative collection traces that historical evolution in image-making through Muellner’s idiosyncratically emotional, humorous and melancholic visual and textual modes. Above all, in these critical and philosophical works, Muellner never abandons the position of the photographer: that person who marks their place in the world—as lover, citizen, artist and witness—by the optical device they hold in their hands.
Lacuna Park contains all of Muellner’s writings on photography. In addition to five new and previously unpublished essays, the collection includes selections published in now out-of-print and hard-to-find works, including a complete reprint of Muellner’s 2009 book The Photograph Commands Indifference.
Nicholas Muellner (born 1969) received a BA in comparative literature from Yale University and an MFA in Photography from Temple University. He is Associate Professor of Photography and Co-Director of the Image Text MFA at Ithaca College and the ITI Press.