Image of Structure
My aim is to distill the architecture of Frank Gehry’s Stata Center – at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – to an emotional response of an isolated structure. As I conducted research across the street – where I studied how the brain encodes emotional associations to contextual cues – I became more and more drawn to this architectural work. In the three-month leadup to defending my thesis I worked hundred-hour weeks. The energy I poured into my PhD led to solitude, insomnia, and an overwhelming sense of doom, which nearly caused a physical and mental collapse. I saw the Stata Center almost every single day and for over 10 years I took photos of it, learning how to view it ever more clearly apropos my internal state. With this interaction I connected to this deconstructed architecture, while at the same time, undergoing psychological dissociation.
In my photographic work I seek to create a distinct – often dire – reality, which points to my long and exhausting history with depression, paranoia, and hypomania. This ominous quality of this series also speaks to the power of the buildings looming strength. I am not looking to have the viewer feel how I feel or see how I see, but to use it as a projective test to identify internal conflict that they may not have been aware of prior to viewing this work. The tension of being elevated and grounded by Gehry’s work, has for me, created a tense and silent drama that unfolds into surreal observation and removes it from the architectural context into the photographic space as a separate art object.