In 2000 I decided that I would return to where I grew up, to photographically document what it was like in to live in a small town in South Florida at the turn of the millennium.
After shooting for a month, deeply disturbing memories from my childhood began to surface, which triggered a nervous breakdown. When I returned home I went into therapy.
It occurred to me that if I could make a photographic representation of these specific events from my childhood, I could own them outside of myself as an object and that these memories would no longer hold a shadowy power over my subconscious.
From 2001 to 2011 I returned to Florida at least once a year to make images with friends and family. I would either recreate specific events or I would stay present in my process for images to arise that could hold the emotional weight of memories that remained half shrouded.
In the end what I remembered was my resilience and defiance as a child in the face of an overwhelmingly large and seemingly unsafe world. What that came to mean for me as an adult, was the realization that the spectres of my past had no real substance, as if they were only made up of vapor and light.
— Adrain Chesser