The images contained in the book are intended to embody Winship’s struggle and her connection to the landscape where she herself does not belong.
Likewise, this sense of alienation is conveyed through a fiction by British poet and novelist Jem Poster. It is woven through the sides of snow, where the protagonist is a portrait photographer whose true identity we do not know. What we do know for sure, though, is that she’s not Winship, but rather a fictional character, further complicating the book’s slippery framework.
Read our interview with Vanessa Winship.
When and how was the book created?
The work came out of an unusual assignment for me, but because it was in collaboration with Mare, who published my book Black Sea (Black Sea), I made an exception. The final product was released as a feature in Mare and after that I decided to return to Ohio, USA. I felt compelled to somehow search for something I wasn’t sure about.
In fact, as I leafed through the book, it seemed to me that your gaze was searching for something. What were you looking for? And did you find it?
In a way, I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, but in a peculiar way I went about it as a detective. I returned to Ohio in the same weather conditions as when I went there for the assignment; it would somehow figure out what bothered me and what worried me. When I first went there I even asked a friend if she would come along to ride because the first time I didn’t feel safe doing it. When we drove there, we drove through a polar vortex; I had never heard the term before. There was this incredible swirl of snow: It was weather I’m not used to and I don’t feel comfortable in. The second time I came back I was alone and driving myself. The weather conditions were similar but as I drove through this landscape the snow started to melt. I went looking for something, but I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for. However, I was guided in a way. In a hotel where I was staying there lived a ghostly old man; his name was Herr Nusbaum. He would say to me, “Why don’t you come over here?” and “Why don’t you go there?” He also addressed me in a very old fashioned way, not really the way we greet new people these days. So I let him and my own instincts guide me in part, moving through the snowy landscape in search of something.