In In The Vicinity, Ed Panar navigates a remote corner of Mendocino County, an area located within the Emerald Triangle, also known as the heart of California’s cannabis culture. Hidden under the cover of densely forested mountain sides, foothills and valleys, the cannabis plant is leading the way and being tended to: cultivated and revered for its potent economic, psychotropic, and mythological values. We find ourselves in the midst of a secretive world where clandestine operations take place behind rambling fence lines, locked gates, and dusty dirt roads in an ever shifting grey area of legalisation, self-sufficiency and raw capitalistic impulses. The plant itself – the primary star of the scene – remains elusive in this Edenic rural atmosphere, where some of the most productive outdoor cultivation of this multi-billion dollar cash crop is occurring just out of sight. The quiet clarity of Panar’s photographs – landscape, still life, details and the occasional nonhuman observer – provide an open ended invitation to consider not only an area within and along the edges of this industry, but also the grey areas of photographic representation and its ability to provide “documentary” insight into something as elusive and enigmatic as the allure of this mythical plant and the emerging modern cannabis economy.
84 pages, hardcover, 23.5 x 17 cm, Deadbeat Club (Los Angeles).