Lacuna Park: Essays and Other Adventures in Photography
SPBH Editions, London, 2019
208pp; 113 illus.
Lacuna Park collects writer-photographer Nicholas Muellner’s textual and visual essays created between 2009 and 2019. Intertwining memoir, reportage, fiction and theory, he asks: what is existentially at stake today in the making and viewing of photographs? In a time when nearly everyone has become a photographer, Muellner explores how images have become a means through which we control and care and desire, adapt and compensate, forget, remember, and keep going.
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.
Lacuna Park is 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.
Lacuna Park is the severe antidote towards a way of speaking on photography that has become over-academic and fantasy-driven by its political aims and innuendos. In a year where a number of titles have claimed some sort of political audacity, Muellner asks to stop the goddamn world and think through images, to hold them both dear and at arms proverbial length … This book is arguably the most universal book written on photography since Sontag or Batchen. This is much needed reading for the cancer of our times.