When I was a senior in highschool I took a photography class. I had always been fascinated by photography & the idea that we could freeze time with a camera. I loved that by simply telling someone to smile you were able to create a fabricated moment. It didn't matter what was happening before or after the photograph was taken, that smile told a story that we would remember forever, as fact. My dad encouraged my love of photography by turning the tiny kitchen of our apartment into a dark room. When I graduated high school, after four photography classes, he threw me a graduation party that was an art show of my work. We took down everything off the walls of our apartment & hung my mounted photographs. Pictures of my siblings with fake black eyes, still life shots of studded collars & combat boots, self portraits of a girl balancing on the edge of real life and childhood, all on display. Those photographs told a story that was edited for an audience. Everything about me is edited for an audience, even now, when I try not to tell a false story. There is something manipulative about art, about expressing yourself through a silent medium on paper or film. A polaroid photo can be smeared & scratched while developing, becoming distorted, unrecognizable. Underneath though, the picture exists the way it did when you looked through the viewfinder, regardless of what we see now. Smile, say cheese, snap a photo, create a memory, but never forget the truth. Never let yourself freeze time & forget the effort it took to smile.
"By the end of the Summer of 1986 my mom had given birth to a mini version of the giant. I remember loving the baby giant from the moment he was born and whispering into his sleeping ears that I would always protect him because I was his sister, a job I never cared about before he existed. When Danny was born I was convinced he had the spirit of an animal inside of him. He seemed to bond instantly with every stray my stepdad brought home, communicating with them in a way that only they seemed to understand. Inside the Charlie’s Chips can there are so many pictures of my brother cradling a small dog in his arms with a smile on his face as if he is experiencing love for the very first time and each time the camera captured his smile. "
From Heavy Hangs the Head
Out August 22nd. Pre-order today