Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Project Advisor 1
“Photographs are the visual assimilations of experiences. When the suceed it is a miracle. To expect this to happen in plentitude is a narcissistic sham...that is my interpretation of lissette words of the once a year concept,” said Larry today, digitally reiterating an earlier conversation about his professor’s theory of photographic miracle work because I had forgotten some of the finer points. I’ve been at Bard for eons now, or at least it always feels that way even though I only took one year off. Though by some combination of personal excitement and miraculous happenstance I find myself at the end of my time here. Hope cannot exist without the idea of a miracle, and by Larry’s definition at least neither can successful photographs, so it’s a good thing these small miracles actually occur from time to time.
Initially, this project developed from an interest in meditation, mindfulness and momenthood. I was attempting to capture the raw essence of a fleeting moment, to encapsulate its miraculous unfoldings... or something like that. As the year drew on the project changed. I realized that the scenes grew more somber and that while shooting I was thinking more and more about my grandfather, who in September was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.
The tension between hope and despair is dizzying, especially when compounding factors like loss, longing and lonesomeness are injected. For the majority of my loving entanglement with the department I shot fast and loose photos of my close friends and peers engaged in the never ending social theatrics of college partying and the self-conscious self-destruction that accompanies these activities, however this year I was alone again.
With most of my friends having graduated and beginning their adult lives a year earlier than me, my stage was empty and I was left with eerily familiar feelings in an eerily familiar, but empty setting. I grew up on an island as an only child, and switched schools twice before coming to Bard, once during my senior year of high school. Though I had close friends throughout those times, they were often changing, and the transitional periods were difficult and isolating. This year I found myself retaken by those feelings of detachment and anxiety, at a similarly pivotal moment but one where I (supposedly) had tools and a newfound maturity to help me through it. Amongst several other pursuits, both then and now the creation of artworks has proven to be a mechanism by which I was able to rationalize these fears and emotions and begin to process dense issues such as happiness, loss, failure, love and death. I’m so grateful for the little miracles that graced my digital sensors and for the love and support of my family, friends, professors and peers.
thank you all!
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Trocki-Ryba, Teddy Daniel, "Second Helpings" (2017). Senior Projects Spring 2017. 210.