Published by Kehrer Verlag, this photo book presents a series of photographs united by the shifting boundary between reality and imagination, and how we distinguish between the two. Parlato’s interest in the definition of reality comes from a childhood spent in the care of a mother with a mental illness. From an early age, she was placed in the unique position of having to determine whether or not her mother’s fears and observations were real or imagined. In A Spectacle and Nothing Strange, Parlato positions the viewer as this child—it is we who must determine what is true and what is false. The photographs are complicated and ambiguous; presenting a fragmented world that oscillates between multiple realities. The book offers a space for objective and subjective realities to join—and in doing so, validates the world of Parlato’s mother’s imagination.
All images © Ahndraya Parlato