A photographic exploration of superstition and its prevalence in human life.
Superstition is so incredibly prevalent in our lives, and sometimes defines our entire lives in the form of religion, culture, or other practices. In my photographic thesis for my Master of Fine Arts in Photography, I will be traveling the South Eastern United States creating images based on photographic trends of early photography (late 19th and early 20th centuries) that exemplify our superstitions. This includes photographs of ectoplasm, spirits, mediums, and mothers holding their children while covered in black sheets, et cetera. I will be recreating these images in a modern context and with modern technology, to appear as if these phenomena were occurring in our current day and time.
The series is a commentary on superstition and what people are willing to believe, both now and in the past.
I will be traveling the Southeastern United States to photograph in iconic areas well known for their involvement in superstition and the metaphysical, like Bonaventure Cemetery and sections of New Orleans. While other sections of the United States seem to be liberating themselves from superstition in some ways, the South is steeped in superstitious culture. My own personal experience growing up in the South helps to influence my understanding of this culture. Although I realize that the South may not be more superstitious than other places, I am keenly aware of the mythos that invade the thinking within these areas and can rely upon this knowledge in my exploration of the subject.
The images will all be in color and will be mostly photographed using available light. Artificial light will be used subtly. I will avoid color casts and trendy photographic techniques in order to capture the images in a natural and timeless manner. As I have with the first ectoplasm photograph of the series, the ectoplasm and other metaphysical elements will be physical manifestations in the photograph and not a result of heavy-handed editing.
The money will be spent on travel expenses, unforeseen equipment and prop expenses, printing expenses for the book I intend on self-publishing of the body of work, and printing the series as limited giclee prints (including matting and framing) for exhibition in solo gallery shows.
My other work and the first two images of the series can be found at my website www.lunarcaustics.com.
The deadline for being finished with this body of work is December 2014.
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