The Most Important Decision of Your Life
The Most Important Decision of Your Life is about transitioning from childhood to adulthood, and the conformity that society expects one to fall into. This project uses the fallout of events from getting in trouble with the law as a guideline to talk about fabricated perceptions of who I am, and expectations of who I should be.
The viewer is asked to become an investigator, questioning the severity of the situation, as well as trying to piece together what exactly happened. Locations, still lifes, and portraits are all tied together with this looming dread that does not overtly present itself. I am using images to figure out what it means to conform to a normalized system of order.
This project takes inspiration from photographer Christian Patterson. In Redheaded Peckerwood, he follows the historic events of a grisly murder spree in the late 1960’s. His use of a narrative as a throughline for his project gave my project a model to draw from. He incorporates studio work, found imagery, and landscapes to flesh out his ideas, and this varied use of imagery keeps the viewer engaged. The different aesthetic choices he made aided me in choosing to incorporate a variety of different visual languages.
References to identification systems that law enforcement use are present throughout the work. An evidence bag, something used to keep a catalog of an individual's belongings, is anthropomorphized by it’s slumped over nature. In the black and white fingerprinting video, the act of cataloging one's identity through physical motion becomes a gestural ritual of repeated motion that raises ideas of how much information can actually be gathered about a person from a purely analytical standpoint. The image of a hand with a medical band around the wrist further emphasizes how objective facts can be utilized to understand the full scope of a human being.
My work is meant to voice frustrations with societal expectations and question the idea of success. One's flaws do not define who they are.