On an old plantation in Memphis, Tennessee, Elizabeth Moran investigates the spiritual history surrounding the farmhouse her family once owned. Stories of hauntings and feelings of an otherworldly presence have found their way through the family’s generations. Armed with her camera and the help of her aunt an uncle, who are both paranormal investigators, Moran sought to document the un-documentable spiritual energy in her series Record of Cherry Road.
In addition to her photographs in and around the house, Moran incorporates still lifes of the investigators’ equipment, and letters and photographs from her family’s archive into the series. Many of the photographs have a snapshot quality. By using direct flash and color shifts, Moran mimics the aesthetic of her relatives’ photographs to blur the timeline of the project.
Unlike other mediums, photography has an inherent relationship with truth. Of her attempt to record the unseen Moran says, “Do we simply see what we believe or do we believe what we see? By creating images within the nexus of fact and faith, I confront my lack of a sixth sense in contrast to my family’s sensitivity to unseen presences. Like paranormal investigators, I rely on a lifeless machine to create and validate the intangible spirit of the lived, but the resulting images, like ghost stories, are both real and imaginary.”
Record of Cherry Road is now on view at NYU’s Gulf & Western Gallery until January 25th.
Measuring Visual Disturbances 2
Walks of the Ghost (First Floor)
Site of Activity (Old Well)
TriField EMF Reader
Artifact (George with Banjo)
All images © Elizabeth Moran