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Book of the Week: Selected by Forrest Soper


Book Of The Week Errors of Possession Photographs by Garrett Grove Reviewed by Forrest Soper "In many ways, I believe that Errors of Possession will only become more relevant as time passes. In a book about the belief and pursuit of dreams, I see my country reflected, and like my relationship with my country, I have a complicated relationship with this book. It brings me hope and awe; uncertainty and fear; tension and calmness; confusion and ultimately understanding." —Forrest Soper
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ053
Errors of Possession. By Garrett Grove.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ053
Errors of Possession
Photographs by Garrett Grove

Trespasser, USA, 2019. In English.
104 pp., 29 b&w and 28 color plates, 8¼x10¼".

Garrett Grove’s first publication, Errors of Possession, is an exploration into the rural landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Shot between 2015 and 2017, the book uses the events surrounding the 2016 presidential election as a backdrop for its poetic narrative.

Despite revolving around this polarizing event, Errors of Possession is far from being politically charged. There are no photographs of politicians or political advertisements. Not a single candidate is mentioned or referenced. Instead, the book acts as an incredibly intimate portrait of a society during a time of change.

The tone of the book is set with an image of a utility pole printed on the book jacket. The wood has worn away and many components are left hanging precariously to the electrical wires. Underneath the jacket, the image of an enigmatic and desolate landscape is printed on a metallic foiled cover. Throughout the book, similarly mysterious and perplexing images fill the pages. A man closes his eyes, surrounded by a sea of potatoes. A parrot perches on an inverted globe. A cowboy hat seems to be levitating above the trees as snow falls.

Errors of Possession. By Garrett Grove.
By seamlessly blending black-and-white and color images, Grove’s images create a haunting portrait of a changing landscape and its inhabitants. Rather than creating a straightforward or journalistic document, Grove chose to inform his photographic narrative with poetic ambiguity. Aside from a remarkable page of prose written by Travis Klunick, the book is devoid of text. The images are suspended in time as we are given a chance to reflect on this pivotal moment in American history. Layered in complexity and emotion, Errors or Possession is simultaneously illuminating and mysterious.

Errors of Possession. By Garrett Grove.
Errors of Possession is one of the most honest portraits of contemporary America that I have ever encountered. Rooted in the hardships of blue-collar life, the book is a commentary on faith, change, and perseverance. In facing tribulations, our country has suffered, yet many still believe in—and are searching for—the American Dream.

After working tirelessly while seeing little fruits of our labor, many have become desperate. We chase any opportunity for a better life. We yearn for relief and we are desperate to find calm. America is dignified and hardworking, yet growing weary and tired. We look for change. We turn to the uncertain future, hoping it will bring brighter days. A decision is made. We watch with bated breath as we witness the consequences. We carry on. Time moves forward.

Errors of Possession. By Garrett Grove.
In many ways, I believe that Errors of Possession will only become more relevant as time passes. In a book about the belief and pursuit of dreams, I see my country reflected, and like my relationship with my country, I have a complicated relationship with this book. It brings me hope and awe; uncertainty and fear; tension and calmness; confusion and ultimately understanding. It is a book about change in the landscape, in our lives, and in our society.

Errors of Possession is a book that I have been returning to constantly for weeks, yet I still feel it has more to offer.

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Errors of Possession. By Garrett Grove.
 
http://forrestsoper.com/
Forrest Soper is an artist and photographer currently based out of Rochester, New York. A graduate student at the George Eastman Museum and The University of Rochester, Forrest has worked as the editor of photo-eye Blog and as a photochemical lab technician at Bostick & Sullivan. forrestsoper.com

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