Nicholas Albrecht lives and works in Oakland, Ca.
The collector of misfits, outsiders, and the misanthropic the desert has for long been a theater of perverse drama with no Southern California desert town offering a more visually arresting backdrop than the Salton Sea. Since the late 1960’s the once desert playground for speed boat racers, outdoor enthusiasts, and celebrities alike has been in steep decline. Where resorts and beaches once stood foundations and empty and decaying space now lay as gusts of wind kick up the desert dust and carry the smell of rotting fish. It’s the type of landscape and city that welcomes only those that welcome it.
The photographer Nicholas Albrecht’s forthcoming monograph, “One, No One and One Hundred Thousand”, is a collection of work made during the better part of 2010 as he was living in and documenting the Salton Sea. With constructed portraits of blurred faces, figures in dark, and a lonely sense of youth against the backdrop of desolate landscapes Albrecht’s narrative is less the purist’s documentary and more a Twin Peaks’ish tale of his time in the desert. While the still lifes of an idyllic baby doll, a discarded beauty head shot, or even the images of road kill offer a sense of forgone hope and dreams Albrecht’s avoidance of the cliche Salton Sea imagery of eroding trailer homes and floating fish carcasses offers the Sea a new narrative all its own.
“One, No One and One Hundred Thousand” will be published later this month by Schilt Publishing.
(originally posted by Ben Grieme)