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Nick Meek: ‘Unreliable Memories’ Best Photography Book of 2022

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Nick Meek’s personal photography book, Unreliable Memories, has just been selected as one of the best photography books of the year by Photo España. The book is described as Nick’s ‘visual mythology of America’s pasts and futures.’

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For British photographer Nick Meek, growing up in the North of England and raised on Hollywood movies and TV shows, the American West always seemed a terrain full of golden prospect and possibility. In this luscious photographic portrait, the country’s highways, motels, national parks, movie theaters, road signs, airports, waterfalls and beaches appear at once romantic and eerie, optimistic and ironic, hazy and hyperreal, soaked in emotion and overtly artificial.

Here, in washed-out, almost painterly Kodachrome oranges, yellows and pale blues, Meek constructs a Hollywood-style nostalgia, subtly exaggerating the photographic style and iconography that typically accompany such portrayals of the West, while nonetheless ingeniously accessing their emotional pull.

The process of remembering entails a certain amount of forgetting. In these photos, Meek mines this gap, creating space for scenes and meanings that might never have really been there. This is Meek’s debut monograph, compiling a selection from his acclaimed series, created between 2002 and 2017.