Tomorrow Ever Comes: McNair Evans’ Train Journeys Across America

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Tracey Morgan Gallery, Asheville, NC // June 03, 2023 – July 15, 2023

All Images © McNair Evans / Tracey Morgan GalleryAll Images © McNair Evans / Tracey Morgan Gallery

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Between 2012 and 2022 McNair Evans took 11 trips around the United States traveling by Amtrak, systematically covering every route within their passenger rail system with a cumulative 1,050 hours spent onboard. Photographing fellow passengers, passing landscapes, Amtrak workers, and interior train scenes, Evans’ photographs communicate a persistent hope within this once ubiquitous form of travel.

Train interiors are inherently liminal spaces – while the passengers change, the backdrop stays the same – the effect is democratizing. While there is an ethos of in-between-ness to all forms of travel, for the simple reason that it’s what happens between “here” and “there,” train travel exaggerates this experience simply by its slowness and because the trains themselves are tethered to the ground, moving deliberately through swaths of roadless landscape. Awash in intoxicating light, Evans’s images elicit a sense of longing – a palpable feeling of being together alone. They remind us how to share public space for a common advantage and evoke a profound impulse to linger.

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