20x20, 20x24, 20x30 inkjet prints.
In this body of work, my fascination with the American Midwestern working-class home leads me to explore domesticity as it is depicted in vernacular photography. As I approach this project, I search through my family’s archive of photographs from the past thirty years to (re)remember and (re)visit the fifteen houses my family inhabited during my childhood.
By digitally scanning each image and then using digital techniques, I am able to remove the figures from the photographs to explore the depicted places. In doing so, I am questioning the ability of photographic representation to capture the unintended likeness of a place (whether pleasant or unpleasant) once the subject is removed. Like Roland Barthes searching for the essence of his mother through photographs in Camera Lucida, I am searching for the essence of family and home as it is depicted in the most innocent form of photography, the family snap-shot.
As I work with the images I preserve their aging aesthetic by limiting retouching to retain the noticeable blemishes, dust, and scratches. These visual elements as well as the technical deficiencies of the unknown photographers are tell-tale signs that lend an air of authenticity to the images as I search for answers to how environment shapes the development of family.
This project is supported in part by funding from he Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.