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2023 Annual Conference


March 16-18, 2023

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Trauma & Photography

Saturday, October 26 - 11:00AM to 11:30AM
Chace Auditorium

Art has historically been used to express the personal feelings and experiences of the person creating it. Oftentimes, these feelings result in an inner conflict that can encompass the entirety of a person when left unresolved or unexpressed. While touching upon photographers of the past that use photography to grapple with their own psychology, I look at the experience of trauma and use photography to research, revisit, and try to understand the memories that get stuck, repeated, and recreated within our minds. My work explores how repeated recollection of the past alters the memory and disrupts the notion of a static nature of memory. The alteration of the past by recollection in the present is particularly pronounced when applied to traumatic experiences.

In my project, The Depth of Chlorine I create various remembrances of this past trauma through the utilization of photographs that recall various possible interpretations of this childhood trauma. However, this trauma is only suggested and never directly declared within the photographs. By leaving ambiguity around the nature of the trauma, I highlight the distortions introduced through memory recollection. Using the narrative approach of photography I create a story around a particular place where different characters, objects, and events are depicted in a similar or repetitive fashion. I explore how conflicting memories of trauma and childhood joy are manifested in a place that served as a second home. Together the photographs elicit the emotion of something unsettling yet undefined within this new imagined history. Taken together, my work explores how we as humans push forward as we navigate the muddled haze of our own memories and trauma. 


Alex Gencarelli
Alex Gencarelli

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