International solidarity starts from finding a place of common ground and building empathy, not just in this global movement for social justice, but in small everyday moments as well. My work normally centers around concepts of home, on a personal and local level, but the idea of home is a universal one. Our houses might look different, but our homes are spaces and circumstances of safety, belonging, memories, support, love, creativity, dreams. How do we build our homes into communities, and our communities into international networks of support? What common elements are we bringing with us?
Through being photographed, something becomes part of a system of information, fitted into schemes of classification and storage...Photographs do more than re-define the stuff of ordinary experience (people, things, events, whatever we see-- albeit, differently, often inattentively-- with natural vision) and add vast amounts of material the we never see at all. Reality as such is redefined-- as an item for exhibition, as a record for scrutiny, as a target for surveillance.
-Susan Sontag, The Image World
The physical structure of a house, of shelter, is a common symbol of home. This "survey" of houses in my area began as an architectural study, a pseudo-scientific data analysis using multiple exposures to photograph and compare houses on the same street, and allows the house as an object to be broken down into repeating patterns and elements. Doors, windows, fences, flower beds, bricks all overlap. Windows get bricked up, or walls are opened up as an impossible number of window panes takes their place. Doors lead to nowhere, ghostly flags fade away. These house amalgamations have a dream-like quality, like a layering of memories, merging multiple realities and possibilities and truths into one grand possibility, coexisting together.
Do we want to be an international home of open doors and windows, of opportunity and openness and access? Or will we build walls around ourselves to keep safe? Will we plant roses or bricks?
This is an ongoing series, and select prints are available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit those in Beirut, Lebanon. The recent devastating explosion has had an incredibly disastrous impact on a post-war Lebanon already struggling for justice amidst a failing economy and rampant corruption, and is in need of aid sent directly to civil society groups on the ground, bypassing the government. You may contact me at email@example.com if interested.