In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service announced 3,653 rural post offices would close. Several thousand locations have since been added to this list of erasure as the Postal Service struggles to cement its foothold in an increasingly digitized world.
Like the letter, the analog photograph seems threatened at present. Digitization has rendered aspects of Boillot’s own practice obsolete—even entirely extinct. From the moment the envelope is sealed, or the shutter clicked, both objects bring messages from the past. Their very message relies upon the grasping interpretations of a recipient. Both are full of gaps, filled with mystery and the struggle to communicate across time and space.
Rachel Boillot (b. 1987) is a photographer, documentary artist, and educator. She holds a BA in Sociology from Tufts University, a BFA in Photography from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University
Rachel’s photography has been acquired for several permanent collections worldwide. Recent work has been funded by the Annenberg Foundation of Los Angeles, CA and the Riverview Foundation of Chattanooga, TN. She currently teaches in the Art Department at Lincoln Memorial University, works as Assistant Producer at Sandrock Recordings, and maintains her own photographic practice in East Tennessee.