Over the course of many summers, Meeks traveled a few miles from his home in New York’s Catskill Mountains to Furlong, a place in the woods where local youth gather to jump off a 60 foot waterfall. “Meeks shows these youth as a loose community perched on the cusp of adulthood, poised literally and figuratively on a precipice both in space and in their lives,” writes the gallery in the press release.
Meeks’s black and white photographs show the young divers in mid-jump, momentarily arrested in the air before they drop beyond his frame into a black void. Other photographs show them on forested trails, pockmarked with debris and graffiti-marked rocks. A few blurry color images of the woods taken from a moving car are interspersed in the series. Together, the pictures “present a nearly prayer like sense of ritual,” states the gallery, “a procession of youth accelerating into something unknown yet vitally necessary.”
The exhibition also includes selections from other bodies of Meeks’s work that are more firmly grounded in adulthood. They provide a striking contrast to the images of Furlong and show that the weightlessness of youth can yield quickly to the responsibilities of growing up.