Photography as a Public Art
Final Project Statement
This past semester I have focused my work on the idea of capturing a memory in a tactile way. I have inserted myself into selected places looking for solutions to my struggle with a friend’s passing. Once documenting myself I then leave these prints in the places themselves questioning the idea of permanence.
In this project, I turned from documenting myself in specific scenarios and discussing the effect of death on me to displaying the one who has put these questions in my mind. You see before you images that were taken of Joe about a month before his passing. He was never one to pose for photographs, so these are rare images I have used with the permission of my collaborator through this whole process. He never saw these images after being developed, but while they were being taken he talked about how he wanted himself plastered out in the world, to show everyone how great he was. Before now, I have felt uncomfortable actually placing Joe in this series of work in such a literal way, but after seeing these images and hearing the stories, I felt it was an appropriate way to end the semester.
I wheat pasted 5x7 prints, mainly posted as a diptych, but there are a few on their own as well. I chose a small size to encourage the audience, seeing such a large wall or open space to step closer, and have a personal moment with these images. I also produced stickers of the deceased with a hashtag featuring his full name, Joseph Fuja on them, as an experiment to see if anyone questions these portraits. I plan on continuing this project on a small scale, sporadically leaving portraits and polaroids in familiar spaces as a way of remembering the significance of a passing and its mark it leaves on all those involved.