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 catalogue of an individual's belongings, is anthropomorphized by it’s slumped over nature. Hands are commonly used as a factual identification tool within the U.S legal system, but here they are being used as a way to represent my personality. In the handshake video, two men come together and present themselves to each other in an awkward but common societal performance. Through this stiff interaction the viewer can insert themselves into this narrative, and relate to this cringe inducing moment.
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. People can change, and the choices they make help define their character.