Melissa Catanese: The Lottery (Hardcover)
A photographic reverie on the anxieties of the human condition, from the author of Dive Dark Dream Slow
A wild, insomniac cousin to her somnambulist classic Dive Dark Dream Slow, Pittsburgh-based Melissa Catanese's (born 1979) The Lottery reads like a work of speculative fiction: a glimpse into an anxious human civilization suspended between uncertain futures and the aftermath of its distant and recent past. Seamlessly combining her own recent photographs with anonymous vernacular photos, press images and NASA archival imagery, Catanese's intuitive editing reanimates the pictures' dormant surfaces, evoking the mob mentality and tribalism of Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery," as well as the cosmic indeterminacy at the heart of our unfolding present. Throughout the sequence, we see catastrophic forces punctuated by scenes of serenity, tenderness and fragility. Crowds gather to gawk, passively entertained by unseen horrors. Lone figures claw, swim and bend, haunted and creaturely, isolated and immersed in primordial landscapes. Brief fragments of text from Virginia Woolf hint at a glimmer of hope for regeneration.