A Transgressive Look At Beauty.
I've become fascinated by deteriorated interior spaces because of the mystery they evoke. Each one of them represents echos of what once was. Every place is a memory to someone, and therefore carries a vast amount of history. Layering and reconstructing the images with varying perspectives and exposures creates a fractured sense within the scene. The use of high dynamic range photography exposes a landscape wrought with texture of all types. In this way, it's a documentation of all of the chance occurrences that have added up to that exact setting, and it helps to create the world in which the environment exists. This constructs a feeling of ambiguity , and removes it more from its real world context. In removing it, the viewer is allowed to focus on the visceral feeling that it fosters and be immersed in the textures and relationships of the objects that are presented. The pieces are intentionally subjective in a way, as the viewer can construct their own narrative via the lens that I am presenting it. What interests me most is the subjective nature and overall mystery that these once inhabited places represent. I enjoy the story that they have to tell, and I want them to create a dialogue with the viewer.
This work is, in fact, about people. People are accumulations of different vantage points and exposures, and these are what make people who they are. These structures in ruin speak to the human condition as well. We're all trying to get by however we can. In my experience it hasn't always been perfect, and it is often the struggle that defines us. Whatever capacity we weather the storm is often reflected in the content of our character. The struggle is the portion that should indeed but embraced, because it is in the absence of perfection that real beauty is exhibited. These structures in ruin speak to the fleeting nature of perfection. The sum of all these different components becomes something very beautiful. They creates something much more grand and wonderful than could ever have been achieved through effort. It speaks to both the transience of accomplishments and the ineffectual drive toward perfection.
I'm kind of pulling from the independent study I did with Chuck last semester, while trying to expand it a little. Here's the statement for that work:
This project revolves around the idea of being stuck somewhere. When I was living near Binghamton, I had a lot of friends that would do not much other than drink and skip class. Other people that I worked with at the time had more serious issues. I never realized the similarities between the people and the environment in which they inhabit until I left the area and returned to visit. Even now, many of the same individuals are still there, doing the same thing. For me, the Binghamton and Johnson City areas have become a physical representation of ruin of everyone’s lives. Much of the two cities seem like they’re boarded up, and inaccessible, labeled Private Property and No Trespassing, much like people’s refusal to let anyone in, lest their fragility and discontent be exposed. Train cars and the way out are often static, and seem impossible to move. Doors that aren’t boarded up are locked, or chained shut. Paint is splashed and dripped on the ground, running like weak veins along stressed-cracked sidewalks, echoing the slipshod application and lazy attempt to cover a crumbling façade. Vines crawl like unkempt hair across weathered exteriors. Windows are smashed out, taking the reflection and brightness out of the buildings, leaving only dark hollow holes that draw in everything and give nothing in return. Even their means of communication, or way to ask for help seems to be dismantled and broken, securing their fate, and ensuring they won’t get out.
I realize it's still a bag of ideas, but it's a start, and I typed most of what I've been writing in the last few weeks. I understand it still needs to be much more cogent, but like I said, it's a point to start from. Up next is to shoot as much as I can, starting this weekend. I can't wait. Thank you to everyone in advance for your input.
I've got three books on my list to read…
The Aesthetics of Decay: Nothingness, Nostalgia, and the Absence of Reason
Ruins of Modernity
Industrial Ruins: Space, Aesthetics, and Materiality