“Aporia” represents my interest in the man-altered urban landscape and my physical and psychological relationship to it. The work was created in a specific city, yet speaks to the phenomenon of rapid growth being experienced in urban locations around the world.

When surrounded by such an environment, the cultural and physical landscape feels stretched to its limits. Reality exists in a continuum between construction and destruction—change itself seems to be the alpha and omega.

Aporia. Plate 52. © Andrew Waits, Finalist, LensCulture Exposure Awards 2018

“Aporia” is the culmination of this effort, a dreamlike narrative pieced together from the observed landscape. A desire to explore the underpinnings of such an environment—and how it demonstrates itself to one’s psyche—is at the core of this work. The series is a fictional manifestation of my own subjugation, devoid of any specific time or place, both surreal and familiar.

The title is a term extracted from the early dialogues of Socrates. Many people were described as “aporetic” because they left the interlocutor in a purgative state of confusion about the concept being discussed. Likewise, the confounding nature of the urban landscape and the cognitive gymnastics needed to justify it force the mind into this purgative realm throughout the series.

Aporia. Plate 73. © Andrew Waits, Finalist, LensCulture Exposure Awards 2018

“Aporia” does not presume to answer questions regarding the ills of the urban environment. Rather than attempt to make an explicit point, it presents a fictional narrative in an effort to approach a feeling that something is amiss.

For the most part, we are disconnected from the underlying mechanisms of the system in which we live. “Aporia” attempts to highlight this disconnect and battle for understanding and connection. Perhaps in doing so, it can provide a brief glimpse into what lies underneath.

—Andrew Waits

This series was singled out in our Exposure Awards 2018. See all of the inspiring work by the 39 winners, finalists and jurors’ picks!