Oakland, California, 2018
Mimi Plumb has been making photographs, predominantly of the American West, since the 1970s, but Landfall is her first monograph and an overdue recognition of the artist’s work. Maddox calls it “a surreal, singular vision.” As a testament to classic and clean photobook design, the simply placed, rich duotone plates captivate and transport the viewer via strong and compelling sequencing. “It feels like you’ve traveled through a portal, or walked through the looking glass and entered a realm that is recognizable yet also quite strange and fascinating,” remarks Maddox. Containing crisply rendered, alluring images of solemn figures and barren landscapes, there is an underlying sense of waiting, or encountering the unknown. Although Plumb took these photographs in the 1980s, during the Cold War, the recent release of Landfall feels just as timely today, equally relevant to the national climate of uncertainty and the anxiety caused by current environmental, political, and social dilemmas.