I do this thing where I collect old Polaroids of people I don’t know, and I “adopt” them. It’s kinda sad when you think about it, how someone didn’t want their family photos or there wasn’t anyone left in the family to want them. So, I’ve been collecting them. Because every photograph deserves a home.
It’s admittedly a strange action, especially the “adoption” part. There’s some tension there; I know that these people will never truly be my family and I don’t know anything about them, and, also, what gives me the right to take ownership of their precious memories?
Since I’ve gathered quite a few Polaroids, I decided to do something with them for a project. I decided to make an attempt to map out this complicated tension by writing, painting, and collaging onto the pictures, kind of like scrapbooking– and we scrapbook our precious memories, right? I was trying to make these memories my own, but the frustration that this is not possible became clear as I worked on the project.
When I was working on these, I was wondering what the people in them are up to today. I have no idea if these people are dead or alive, and I probably will never know. It’s a melancholy thing.
But as my dancing-friend-who-just-baptised-his-newborn-would-say: YOLO .
And yes that is the same guy.
Also that little boy who is crying in every picture? What a little punk.
For some, I made up my own memory of the person in the photo or the event. For others, I responded to the content and altered the space around it. Some are just commentary from me, because I think I’m hilarious.
I just imagine a gallery space filled with a grid of these ridiculous photographs. And, who doesn’t love looking at awkward family photos? It’s like a train wreck you don’t want to look but you do anyway. Kind of like my life.
Well that’s all for now. If any of you are going to be in New Orleans for the Society for Photographic Education conference next week, shoot me an email or something and maybe we can meet up there and talk about photography! Yay new people!