“I remember having insomnia for a time when I was 9 years old.
My mother told me there might be nuclear war.”
Mimi Plumb’s “Landfall” is a photographic time capsule of a world always on the brink of total annihilation, of anxiety gone wild and global, of an everyday life in the face of latent and palpable threat. The photographs tell of the zeitgeist of 1980s unease and societal downfall, relayed with a contemporary zeitgeist that links the past with our present. Interspersed with photographs of burnt-down houses, dead forests and wastelands covered in thick smoke, the images of ordinary people hanging out, taking strolls, conversing or relaxing exude a strange danger and unease, as Plumb grants her characters the prescience of an impending doom. And yet the dystopian nightmare of “Landfall” is made more bearable by an unceasing sense of humanity that pervades the series, and by the knowledge that the foretold nuclear annihilation that plagues these images, in the end, didn’t arrive.