Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is an insular body of land. The largest freshwater system in the world defines its borders and seeps through its interior, isolating the peninsula. In November 2015 I began living near the peninsula’s north shore with the intention of photographing over a period of several years. I photographed so as to speak to the region’s insularity, with my practice revolving around the relationship between my gaze and the environment.
Bodies of water populate the peninsula and I became compelled to photograph them. My attention became fixated upon water’s visual amorphousness: In each situation seen, water adopts color from its surroundings, shape from its container, behavior from its setting. Reciprocally, the Upper Peninsula is shaped by water, and my understanding of this environment has been shaped by water as well. These photographs reflect this in their description of water and its effect on the landscape.
Adjacent to water’s presence is human presence in the Upper Peninsula, which became unavoidably evident in this work. Human presence is embodied here by physical evidence and the centrality of the act of looking.
Michael Zuhorski — Eyes Make the Horizon (2015 – 2018)