Apolonia Lemus


Senior Project April 2013

Artist Statement

The name of my project is Retrospection because I want to the audience to feel reminiscent on their youth or past when seeing my work. My concept is based on exploring American cultural artifacts and products that people choose to keep and collect. Through the images I hope to motivate an emotional reaction and get my audience to think about why they collect and cherish certain items. We all get nostalgic through different ways whether it would be by a song or certain smell. I am attempting to make my audience feel nostalgic through the senses of sight, sound and hopefully touch with the textures that are in my images. What is interesting is that we all get reminiscent through different ways and it is because of this fact that the experience for the viewer is tailored to the each individual so everyone can take something different from my project.

Nostalgia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. Nostalgia can be looked at as a complicated facet of human life; it combines different emotions such as joy, melancholia, pain and even regret.  It can appear with happiness and excitement and leave you with a sense of sadness and disappointment. This is what makes nostalgia so intriguing; the fact that it can make you feel different emotions, one feeling after another. My project is about items from the 80s and 90s and it makes you reflect on when you had these items or it makes you reflect on someone you knew that had these objects. This process makes you feel nostalgic and it causes the audience to question why people collect the things they do and why they pay the money they pay to keep them. Often times it is because of an emotional attachment or an odd fascination with the product. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” My project contradicts the ideas of high art because I am elevating and drawing attention to objects that may seem insignificant and tacky. I am an emotional person that becomes nostalgic with the littlest occurrences and I find it interesting how something as simple as a song or a certain object can bring back memories of the past.

All of my images were shot with a DSLR camera and were altered using Photoshop. The action of shooting and altering the images were equally important. Shooting the images was tricky because I didn’t want my images to seem staged and fabricated. In some cases I took the picture of an image in passing so that it would seem more of a discovery as opposed to a staged object. The editing is a vital aspect to this project because I had to edit them in such a way that would make them appear more like the 80’s and 90’s. Photographs are usually shown hanging in plain frames so to help mine stand out more I’ve decided on light boxes. Light boxes illuminate images and give them a glow that helps them seem more visually engaging. I truly hope that as a viewer you can remember a memory that you hadn’t remembered in a long time.

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