I have been in an incredibly weird headspace and although my presence online has been laking, my presence in reality has flourished. While this may seem like a pretty good thing, I feel as if I’ve checked out for the semester and forcing myself to record what I’ve been creating is proving to be exceptionally hard. So here I am, just off of work, forcing myself to write down my thoughts before I forget them all. Honestly, that’s why I love blogging the most, it gives me a space to unjumble my brain. Here is often where my artist statements begin and where I notice reoccurring themes in my work and my writing.
The following is how I’ve been feeling about my documentary project as of lately:
First and foremost it has been titled: I Saw Vanity Under the Sun. This comes from Ecclesiastes 4:7.
Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business. – Ecclesiastes 4:7-8
As always, titling any work is a huge feat, but once I came across this passage I knew it complimented what it is I am trying to say. I am very pleased with all of this. However, I did begin to struggle with the project as a whole, basically questioning every decision (besides the title) that I’ve made this entire semester. I was concerned with how few pictures I had actually taken for this project, then I began to look towards postmodernism: mainly Richard Prince. So much of what I’ve said about art coincides with their beliefs. The biggest one being, why take more pictures when everything’s already been photographed anyways? Why not just collect, recycle and reuse? I’ve been thinking a lot about appropriation and assemblage and how this is not the first time it’s been prevalent in my work. Does taking things out of context and placing them within my own narrative make them mine? To some extent I Saw Vanity Under the Sun is dealing with this over saturation of imagery and advertisements that tell us we look all wrong and we’ll never have enough. I have come to terms with the fact that this is how I work; I am not the first and I will not be the last. What I’ve realized about this project, and appropriation in general, is that you’re either going to love it or hate it, there is no middle ground. In my opinion, this makes it real art: it’s not safe, it forces proper to have some sort of a reaction. Some won’t agree with this, but at this point I love it and I am happy with where it’s going.
Here’s a menagerie of newer images from my book (not all of these have been dusted):
It is my hope that by pulling imagery from different aspects of my life I can compile a narrative of what has been my experience growing up girl in middle-class America. This is the imagery I was continuously bombarded with, the pictures that are still circulating throughout my brain. We are constantly seeing things of this nature and there is absolutely no way to escape it, no way to keep it from young children and no way to forget about what you’ve already seen.
Also on a slightly different note, I am currently struggling with what it means to be a photographers who doesn’t take a whole lot of pictures.
I have also come to realize that I am not a feminist artist but a female who makes art. At the moment I’m not entirely sure what this means, but I think it’s important to my practice and I plan on figuring it out in my the future.