This thesis project is an exploration of the documentary mode and it informs my work. Looking at the characteristics associated with documentary photography I can form my work and understand the value I see in the medium. Looking at notions of the deceive moment, Roland Barthes’ idea of punctum, reproduction, and the role of the photographer we can begin to see the future of the documentary practice.
My intention is to photograph a troubled family in Salem, OR. Salem is also where I’m from originally, and this family and I share a strong connection. Working in the documentary mode my intention is to reflect and memorize my past and present. Photographing the familiar of my past through this family’s present is the only to get to the idea of reflection. Reflection is achieved by analyzing the works of Henri Cartier- Bresson, Nan Goldin, Larry Clark, and Jeff Wall as well as theory presented by Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida and Art in the Age of Mechanical reproduction.
Through the documentary mode I can get at why I obsess over certain elements in my life and attraction to Salem, OR as a point of focus for my work. The process of recreating a moment in time will reinforce my belief documentary practice and give foundation into the process I embrace.