TEXT BY ARIELLA STARKMAN
I am running to catch up with my heartbeat, as if I need to be close to death for the speed of its rhythm to make sense. Some days I stop and look around at the stillness—what I see are books lying awry, bottles that have been forgotten, notebooks that were barely given a chance now calmly resting in a foot-deep grave in the corner of my desk (RIP). I turn back to my phone—encountering the same stillness but with a revelatory tone. What am I looking at? Who are these people? What are they doing? Why can’t I look away? Curiosity comes when I look at Chandler Kennedy’s photos, especially this series of the long history of beach driving in Daytona, Florida. The scene breaks my anxiety and all of a sudden I’m a resident of Daytona, driving across the sand, Papa Roach blasting, crushing a beer with the stamina of someone who actually hates beer. Kennedy creeps somewhere in the background, captivating the tradition from an affectionate distance. Her ability to isolate subjects without compromising their solitude seems intentional. The things I like best are the ways the dark shadows and abandoned corners seem less lonely through her lens. It is as if Kennedy’s camera is a magnifying glass, stripping away what we’re taught is ugly to reveal the kind of beauty that isn’t polished, but is consistent. Kennedy lives and works out of New York.
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