Rachel Boillot

Rachel Boillot

United States, born in 1987

In 2011, 3,653 post offices were shut down in the US, mainly in the Southern states, and, since then, the rate of closures has steadily accelerated. In an increasingly digitized landscape, the fate of the postal service earlier generations grew up with looks doubtful and it is surely condemned in the long term to a slow but inexorable demise. Like an archaeologist faced with the impending loss of a jewel of cultural heritage, Rachel Boillot has travelled to several of the localities affected to record them before they disappear completely. Once on location, she found much more than mere post offices: she discovered places where people chat and interact; living, breathing places at which entire rural communities are used to meeting up. Moreover, the young American artist quickly realized the links between this side-effect of modern social development and her own chosen medium. As the world switches to digital, what can the future hold for analogue photography? What role is left for film, for the negative, for the tangible medium? Like letters, film photography seems imperilled. And Rachel Boillot pursues the analogy further, reflecting on how, when an envelope is sealed — or a film exposed —, their fate becomes independent of their creator. Once a letter reaches its recipient, the sender can never take back what she has written; in this she is just like the photographer, who has to learn how to relinquish control over events that occur after the shutter has clicked.

Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University, Durham, NC, United States, 2012 – 2014
Tuffs University, Medford, MA, United States, 2005 – 2010
SMFA Boston — School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, United States, 2005 – 2010



Rachel Boillot, 28531 The Postmistress’s Daughter, Harker’s Island, NC; 27208 Bennett, NC; 31649 Jack, Postmaster and Sheriff, Stockton, GA;71316 David at the Old Post Office, Acme, LA; 38630 Farrell, MS; 29923 Gifford, SC; 38839 John, Derma, MS and 28464 Marty’s Place, Teachey, NC,from the series Post Script, 2013
Inkjet prints
50 x 63 cm
© Rachel Boillot

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