Sunday, March 09, 2008

the stand-ins statement

“Perhaps our lives are a blank film which is to be taken from us and developed elsewhere and screened as our life story in some infernal cinema…”

Jean Baudrillard

We mediate our memories with narratives played out on the screens of movie theaters, our televisions, and computer screens, blurring the line between what is real and what is imagined. While you recollect specific events and people, how sure are you that this memory isn’t an amalgamation of your lived experience and the accumulation of films you have seen?

In the photographic series, the stand-ins, I capture still images of films off of a screen to recreate common, even banal, events: a father eating breakfast with his daughter, a woman of indeterminate age, walking into her home, and a man sitting at a desk, staring past the viewer’s gaze. In these instances, the half-read gestures are frozen moments, open to interpretation, yet oblique. My intention is to create an unstructured narrative that leaves the viewer feeling that these images are familiar, thus prompting the reading of these as not only film stills, but as stand-ins for experience, pointing towards a connection between the viewer and the characters depicted.

the stand-ins are not a criticism of mass media, but the recognition that it has infiltrated our personal lives to the extent that the defining line between the personal experience and that of the collective no longer exists. Our perspectives are always shifting, but the way in which we recall our lives is shared not just by the people who are a part of these experiences, but also by those strangers in the theater watching the same film.

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