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Nick Haymes

The Last Survivor is the First Suspect


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The Last Survivor is the First Suspect is the First Suspect is both a celebration and a requiem. The project, captured between 2005 and 2009 by photographer Nick Haymes, is a testament to a community of young friends adrift, based primarily between two distinct geographical points: Southern California and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The book’s narrative blends a sense of joy in documenting budding friendships and bonds, with a sense of dread that ultimately culminates in a series of tragedies.

Haymes’ intimate photographs are interwoven with a series of digital screenshots that Haymes has identified as essential to this moment in time, offering the viewer a secondary narrative of engagement. Social media was still relatively young, and Haymes became aware of a new nodal sense of communication between these distinct groups of friends. Platforms such as MySpace, YouTube and online discussion forums engendered a sense of community by enabling connection, while setting new and impossible standards and expectations. Diligently collected, these various forms of communication between characters form an omen.

In the introduction to his book, Haymes recounts how his camera enabled him to compensate for a crippling shyness he developed as a teenager. “I picked up a camera and hid, discovering that I could once again be close to people, intimate with them, without having to commit myself,” he writes. To create this exhibition and publication, the artist returned to a corpus of images, reconstructing for himself what happened to these people. Here, Haymes invites us to engage in a contemporary way with this specific historical moment, where things are both different and identical in equal measure. L.P. Hartley opened his famous coming-of-age opus The Go-Between with these words: “The past is a foreign country; we do things differently there”. The Last Survivor is the First Suspect demonstrates this sentiment with remarkable clarity..

  • date of publication : December 2021
  • language : EN
  • pages : 480 p.
  • format : 24 x 17.5 x 4
  • binding : Paperback with bookflaps. Screen-printed PVC cover
  • ISBN : 9783037470800
  • publishers : Kodoji Press
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