Over the course of this semester this project has taken on multiple forms, and experienced many shifts in both how I choose to talk about it as well as how I am choosing to present it. Do I just display polaroids in a grid on the wall? Do I just show the ‘last words’ written by my sitters? Do I put up the diptychs that I started making at the beginning of the semester?
Do I do something completely different?
Yes. Yes I do. While I loved shooting with the Polaroid camera for a majority of the semester, I have chosen to put that little guy aside in favor of a dumbed-down digital camera (I have been putting my Diana+ lenses on my DSLR) – and the results are very exciting for me. I needed this work to go somewhere else, to tell a different story – and to share the stories I was hearing in a new sense. Currently I have shifted completely from where I started: I am no longer focusing on the desired last words that people have shared with me, and am instead looking deeper into the real stories of loss that the people I have interviewed have experienced. These stories are banal, utterly unexciting, but true and real in a way that the desired words were falling flat for me. I have been finding a lot of meaning and power in the mundane and everyday world around me lately, so I suppose it was only natural for me to be drawn to the banality of a lot of these statements.
Three weeks to go. Crunch time. More work coming soon.
“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” – Diane Arbus