can a photograph be a trusted memory? can you create a new memory from a photograph? and are photographs and memories fictitious by nature? these questions tug at me as i watch my ailing father decline in a fog of dementia. his health and age draw me toward my history in a desperate and more honest way than i have been able to muster in the past. for the last two years, i return to my hometown of youngstown, ohio from new york and explore my memories of growing up in a once vibrant, small, american city gobbled up by a sinking economy, closed steel mills of old and a flourishing and ever-changing drug epidemic. as a back drop, i use an old building, in the heart of downtown youngstown that is untouched by renovation — a marker of history and time passing — that mirrors my father’s contradictory state of fragility and strength, decay and beauty. with each visit i am witness to the treachery and doggedness of time and the destruction of everything in its way. producing an ongoing photographic narrative that reflects the essence of memory, nostalgia and loss.
“The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened.” – Mark Twain
i dive into flashbacks from childhood – remembrances on coming of age, discovering my power and burying it simultaneously. creating scenes through character to evoke a nostalgia, not an idealized nostalgia, but a dirtied, cracked, less than perfect nostalgia. using myself in each image, i ground to the personal, and use characters and costumes to nimbly, vacillate between fiction and truth; exploring how memories blur over time to reconstruct as new stories. finding self whole again through memory, place and time.
6 images out of 27 image project – work in progress