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Something in the way

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Scott Lessing Hubener (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://www.wcu.edu/404.asp
Advisor
Cathryn Griffin

Abstract: The title of my thesis, Something in the Way, came to me only recently. It does address, however, my approach to photography in general, and my method for choosing subjects, as much as it addresses this particular body of work. Barriers of a literal and non-literal nature appear, often in the form of apathy or lassitude, impairing that subject's ability to achieve realization or actualization. People are depicted absorbed in thought or task, and a sense of ennui overshadows their existence. We cannot see into their thoughts, but we are informed of the subject's situation by the details of the setting: lying in a bed laden with suitcases, isolated in a motel room, a child in her room with a single overturned toy. Even as the images suggest an overshadowing or isolation, there is also present the possibility of transformation, and the grace of the subject itself is by no means suppressed. There is something in the way an expression reveals or conceals thoughts, in the way the light falls, or in the way a gesture expresses elegance. In large part, these images consist of portraits of my family and friends as well as the homes and interior spaces they occupy. Photographs of objects within the homes are significant for the meaning they hold for the owners as well as their implications for the viewer. Mundane human rituals interest me as well, and banal scenes like sitting around a table to eat, preparing food, smoking, or simply staring reflectively. There is an emotional distance between me and the subjects in many of the photographs. Within the framing and composition, there is often space around the subjects, allowing them to fill their environment and illustrate their absorption in a task or action. These images depict the subject apparently unaware of the presence of the camera and absorbed in a chore or thought. In most of the images the subjects aren't looking at the camera. I am not following a documentary subject or creating a documentary body of work. Rather, my approach is to visually connect images, themes and motifs through the process of accumulation and then editing with these connections in mind. Although I don't utilize tableau vivants or staged scenes, it is not uncommon for me to place subjects in a scene or direct their actions. My thesis will further examine these issues.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2011
Subjects
Photography, Artistic