It was in Julie Blackmon’s 30s, after she’d moved into a 100-year-old house in Springfield, Missouri, “in the middle of the country, in a city with a generic name,” that she decided to pursue photography in a real way. She discovered her new suburban home had a darkroom in the basement, which had once spawned Springfield’s first photography business. And as she tried to make the living room look like Pottery Barn — “It was all the rage to have black and white pictures of your kids lined up on a shelf behind your couch at that time,” she says — the mother of three became inspired by the humour she found in the everyday moments of domestic life. In an exhibition titled Fever Dreams that opened at Fotografiska New York in March, but will once again be on view on August 28, the photographer explores the complexities of contemporary life in a selection of surreal scenes, saturated with a sense of the uncanny. The show includes work from both her Homegrown series, as well as recent images that respond to the way coronavirus has altered daily life. An image titled “Trapped,” shows a garage filled with discarded protest posters. A dramatically lit cat sits in front of the word ‘FUCK’ scrawled into a dusty window. It encapsulates the common cry for freedom we’re all releasing during lockdown.

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