Date of Submission
Project Advisor 1
Finding the Intrepid
Presented here are territories designed for leisure and enjoyment, the transient occupants thereof, and my attempts to understand what draws the two together. From a certain distance, recreational areas appear to take on religious connotations. Disney World, the Lincoln Memorial, and Niagara Falls are sites of pilgrimage for millions every year. Travelers hope to transcend the everyday. In a world of uncertainties, where one is alternately plagued by rapid changes and dreary repetition, pilgrimages offer a glimpse of the eternal.
A tear shed at a boy-band concert resembles a divine encounter. Coins dropped into the Lost River Caverns recall religious offerings. Beer poured from a wrestler’s hand into a fan’s open mouth evokes a spiritual ceremony. The specificity of the events and locations themselves seem to fall away in the singular pursuit of community and catharsis.
In many ways modernity has been defined by various attempts to escape the turmoil of a world without universal meaning. The plurality of contemporary belief systems means that we cannot find solace in an absolute Truth to the extent that was once possible. I remain suspicious of the declarations produced by my camera. I can only hope to engage in the same search for meaning as do the subjects in my images.
These pictures challenge the visual hierarchy offered by the destinations, which are often designed with the camera in mind. The more revealing image may be the one which looks beyond the spectacle itself to the rapture and the peace of subjects. It examines the complexities, beauty, and strangeness of recreation, and escape.
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Alpert, Eve Swords, "Finding the Intrepid" (2013). Senior Projects Spring 2013. 392.