2018 Portfolio Prize Winner - Dylan Hausthor & Paul Guilmoth
A white stag lies in a field, blending into the monochromatic foliage. His head is turned and his gaze confronts us, transforming us from the viewer to the hunter. Both we and the stag are left in the suspense of what comes next, to hunt or be hunted.
In 2016, Dylan Hausthor and Paul Guilmoth began their series Sleep Creek, photographing on Peaks Island, Maine. “The landscape and stark forest of the Northeast so strongly dictate how its inhabitants live,” Hausthor notes. “We got excited by the stories that came from the land and have faded away into myth.”
Intentionally playing with the line between reality and composed fiction, using both staged photographs and field recordings, the images in Sleep Creek exude a mixture of spontaneity and control. Snakes and deer lie perfectly posed, cars are left turned over, man-made structures are overtaken by nature, and men and women stumble through dark forests, float in water, and lurk in the shadows. Hausthor and Guilmoth’s photographs show an eerily peculiar, bleak world almost removed from time, whose inhabitants are slowly going mad. Clouded by an atmospheric sense of suspense, one gets the feeling of never quite knowing what happens beyond that single frame. Weaving together myth, symbolism, and place, Sleep Creek is filled with a sense of tension and anxiety, hinting at a darker underbelly of rural life in America, where a more sinister force may be at play.
— Cassidy Paul
About Dylan Hausthor & Paul Guilmoth
Dylan Hausthor and Paul Guilmoth are a collaborative artist duo based on Peaks Island, Maine. Their practice is primarily focused on photographic and bookmaking art, occasionally questioning the boundaries of both. They cofounded the publication studio Wilt Press in the winter of 2015. Both graduated from Maine College of Art in that same year, and together they make work that centers around the myth of place and the complexity of image-based narrative. Hausthor and Guilmoth search for the sparkling beauty found in performances given for nothing and nobody amidst the intense silence of snow-covered spruce trees.