The future fell in on itself during the early months of 2020, leaving only a timeless and confusing sort of present in the rubble. Old and new vocabularies and practices of sickness, fear and isolation evolved and spread, grafting themselves to the story of environmental, political and social chaos that seemed to be defining our collective experience.
As it did for many, the emergence of COVID, and the shutdowns that followed, radically altered my perception of the world. The virus and its implications for life, leisure, and work forced me to recognize in stark terms the utter precarity and unpredictability of everything I’d known. Confined to my house and filled with grief, I encountered a rising tidal need to document this unprecedented time. Suspended Animation is the result of these days, the gradual coming-to-terms with their effect, and the eventual possibilities of a life after.
These images—many reflections of the everyday, in a long line of days where much is the same as the day before – come from places and moods near to home. Each captures a precious moment, a way to tell time and mark its passing. I’m never more at ease than when making pictures, and doing so amidst so much chaos and uncertainty offers not only a sort of emotional and even physical solace, but the opportunity as time goes on for seeing something else, something better.
All creative labor is anchored to the time and place of its origin, but rarely does it so encompass the entire world and its people. These pictures are the product of a singular experience, but one that is shared, and will continue to be shared for many months to come. And as a record of one, I hope that it will contribute to a larger collection of many such responses. A record of global horror and the tenacity of hope, perseverance, and beauty in facing it.
Santa Fe, New Mexico photographer Natalie Christensen’s focus is on banal peripheral settings. Influenced by 25 years as a psychotherapist, her photos favor psychological metaphors. Christensen has exhibited in noted museums and galleries in the U.S. and internationally, was a UAE Embassy invitee for a UAE Architecture Delegation tour, has been invited as Artist-in-Residence to Chateau d’Orquevaux, France and a photobook, “007 – Natalie Christensen,” has recently been published by Setanta Books, London. Christensen is the recipient of several prestigious photography awards, has work in permanent collections and publications featuring her work include The Guardian, The Observer, Creative Boom, The British Journal of Photography, LandEscape Art Review, Art Reveal Magazine and Aesthetica Magazine.