In many respects Hinterland is a journey of lasts, The very last time a portrait of a person is taken, the very last image to be captured in this village, of that house, before surrendering to the past.
For his second exhibition at Les filles du calvaire gallery, New York-based English photographer Matt Wilson invites us to discover Hinterland. Between 2015 and 2020, the artist spent four months in residence across Lithuania, bringing back with him and to the rhythm of his travels a body of unpublished images. Inspired by the palettes of old master paintings, using new formats and exploring the properties of rare film grains, “Hinterland” plunges us into a pictorial universe of infinite nuances that gives an account of an environment that is very real, but which nonetheless reveals itself to be strange and mysterious. A sensitive and timeless perimeter, inhabited literally and figuratively by souls and singular moods.
“Hinterland roams throughout rural Lithuania navigating a journey amidst once thriving communities, discovering villages that hold a way of life all but vanished. Chance encounters lead to a discovery of a complex and colorful past. Political upheaval, post Soviet farm collectives, a lifetime of soil toiled by hand, alcoholism, poverty, joy, laughter and love—all colors that dominate this canvas.
Roaming this landscape one discovers an increasing number of those whose existence defies belief. At times one can be mistaken for considering a dilapidated old cottage abandoned and uninhabitable and yet as night falls one can witness a solitary glow emanate from within, evidence that this structure and the life inside have yet to yield to the past.
Villages that once flourished sometimes hold but a single aging inhabitant eking out a subsistence living completely alone save for a small collection of livestock. In a world constantly in flux and a country in transition, Hinterland is an exploration of life on the fringes of society and of what we leave behind.
In many respects Hinterland is a journey of lasts, The very last time a portrait of a person is taken, the very last image to be captured in this village, of that house, before surrendering to the past. A photographic record that encapsulates life in its twilight hours, a final glimpse into a sometimes forgotten world and it’s inhabitants before vanishing completely. In many instances it will be the last photograph.” – Matt Wilson