Kegan McFadden guides viewers through an archive of 500 found images featuring pairs of men facing away. These images appear in his book, “A Separate Peace” published by flask (September 2021).
“A Separate Peace” is available for purchase.
Excerpt of Kegan McFadden reading from his essay in “A Separate Peace”
It took me two years to leave my two decades long relationship.
Sometime midway through the first of those years, I’d began collecting pictures of men in pairs with their backs to the camera.
These are images of men, boys, friends, fathers and sons, brothers, lovers, teammates, models. Colleagues and coworkers.
Uniformed. Naked. Casual. Probably staged, but all in pairs.
I stole them from Instagram over the course of one year, Screengrabbing them one at a time.
I slowly built up a cache of photos featuring these men walking or facing away from the camera lens, turning their back on the world and into themselves.
I accumulated 500 of these images. When you begin to look for something, it becomes all you can see, getting in the way of what is actually there.
The collection started with a picture Louis Jacob posted of two elderly men at the art gallery of Ontario, inspecting a huge classical painting in a gilded frame.
There, slouched and slumping postures, wrinkled casual button-down short sleeve shirts and orthopedic shoes are in stark contrast with the delicate brushwork articulating a scene of devastating violence; a massacre carried out by Roman soldiers on a barely clothed crowd tangled in the street, looming architecture with Corinthian columns emboldened by three-point perspective…..