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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Cassidy  Brauner

SPE Member since 2014
Member Chapter: Midwest

Miranda

What defines a relationship? Who decides what is “real”?


Meet Miranda.
She is much more than molded plastic I bought online. She is my doll, my invisible friend, and part of my journey. As a child my baby doll was incredibly important to me as a source of enjoyment, love, and security. My doll helped me through my parents’ divorce and the struggles of childhood. Dolls are a common friend and security blanket for children, specifically girls, but eventually we seem to outgrow and move on from our dolls. I wondered what it would be like if we didn’t discard our dolls. What would it look like if we grew up together? What is it about dolls (or mannequins) that we connect to so strongly in our society? How else can we explore our primal needs for desire and affection?



With Miranda I work through the constructed ideas of a relationships and authenticity. Using my camera to explore these thoughts I capture moments of our life together. I want my viewers to debate on Miranda’s purpose. Is she a stand in for a specific person(s)? Are the sites and surroundings specific to people or moments? By using a variety of views people are able to enter our world and sense the emotional energy. Gaze plays a key role in all of my photographs as well as the different degrees of obscuring Miranda’s obvious plastic body. The narratives created allow viewers to see the range of dependency in our relationship. I want the audience to be as absorbed with the images as I am with Miranda. Beyond that, I want the viewers to question socially constructed ideas of what a relationship means. Is it less real because Miranda isn’t living? What gives a relationship value? Although Miranda and I are still in the beginning stages of our relationship I believe we are starting to explore and reevaluate the authenticity and alternatives of being connected.

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