Natalia Molina’s new photographs attempt to transcend contemporary life vis-à-vis our image culture. All of these photographs feature characters on a threshold-running towards the light, towards the shadows, submerged in water, or drifting out of sleep. Transcendence, it seems, is equated with freeing the self from its surroundings. If this is the case, it is interesting that these photographs are swaddled in photographic and cinematic tropes. These pictures ache for a narrative. Molina, who studied at Savannah College of Art and Design and then at The Darkroom, a photography institute in Florence, Italy, shoots with film because it has a “more recorded quality.” One feels pangs of nostalgia looking at these photographs, not because they are particularly nostalgic within themselves, but because they join us in wishin’ and hopin’ that life will regain its lost immediacy and stability. But unlike Instagrams, these photographs resemble film because they are film. Looking at the grainy film, which simultaneously embraces the world it represents and holds it a ironic distance, one thinks back to Whitman. In “There Was a Child Went Forth,” a youth, learning about the world primarily through looking, wonders “whether that which appears so is so…. Or is it all flashes and specks”

Natalia Molina is a Miami-based photographer.