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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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Daniel Coburn

SPE Member since 2009
Member Chapter: Midwest

Next of Kin

Quiet suffering occurs within a family unit living under the auspices of the ideal American Dream. A complicated relationship with loved ones and an immersive cult-like experience with an evangelical Christian church contributed to my loss of spiritual and domestic faith. I use my art to explore concepts related to this loss, and the psychological trauma that takes place within the confines of domestic dystopia.

In my project, Next of Kin, I record my perceptions of family members by photographing them in parables of love and quiet tragedy. These photographs are a rejection of the visual clichs that appear in the broken family album assembled by my parents, and are intended to function as a supplement to that collection of photographs. These new images present a violent duality, emphasizing the physical and metaphorical fissure between my family and the prodigal son.

I cast my family members as mythological characters, often appropriating elements of Christian iconography in an effort to create my own sacred visual vocabulary. In doing so I correlate domestic ideology to Christian theology and the single-family home to the religious sanctuary.

Mom Cooling Off in the Pool

Broken Rear View Mirror


Dad Stand Too Close to the Fire

Mom's Clutch

Jake's Embrace

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