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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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Chelsea Cossu

SPE Member since 2012
Member Chapter: Midwest

Sod People

Beginning with the image of grass as a departure point, Sod People is a hybrid prose and photographic poem which delves into an interior conflict about the complex state of photography in our lives using the ubiquitous visual and metaphorical themes of turf grass for investigating memory in relationship to our collected images. Through these collections we see the changing structure of the family album as a way to take stock of a multitude of photographic theories.

It is equal parts textual and visual poem. The images are representative but change in the context of the words, and the poem is filled with misunderstanding. Yet, this isn’t a work bemoaning over-sensitization of the snap-happy or a diatribe about the misuse of a personal collection. Rather, this series is about thoughts and images tangentially linked in an open ended question, seeking to know the future, from a close look at the recent past.

Sod People is one chapter of larger project called Ground Cover. Inspired by the Walking Artists movement of 1960’s, this meandering photographic project uses the cadence of a walk, to draw together vignettes of poetry and photographic vision. I’m interested in the pedestrian experience in both senses of the word - a walk as a way to access the deepest of interior narratives, as well as the ordinary. Both are charged with the potential of becoming extraordinary.

So from afar, small blades...

Fibers floating on filament...

The nostalgia of an image imperfect with subject lacking...

It was a case of “the grass is always greener.”

Pictures sliced and stacked in puzzling ways...Expertly arranged

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