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2018 Annual Conference

Philadelphia

March 01-04, 2018

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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Sarah Smith

SPE Member since 2011
Member Chapter: Midwest

WHERE THE GREAT LAKES LEAP TO THE SEA

WHERE THE GREAT LAKES LEAP TO THE SEA
PROJECT STATEMENT

As tourists we travel to specific places looking to fulfill experiential needs that are unique to that location. I’m interested in the images made at these places and how as objects they are later gathered and collected. Personal photographs can be read both with and without accompanying details because of the viewer’s ability to see and associate an image with their own experience. These proofs allow us to claim an experience as our own and lay ownership over these moments. Niagara Falls is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world with visitors coming to witness the thick mist donned in blue ponchos. It is also viewed as a destination for lovers, being deemed the honeymoon capital of the world. The work from “Where the Great Lakes Leap to the Sea” is an account of my individual, and occasionally private, experience yet one shared by many other Niagara visitors. The project began with an interest in vernacular travel images and how they can hold both specific and anonymous information within them. What came of it were quintessential landscape images mixed with heart shaped tubs and souvenir pressed pennies, all images and objects I knew to associate with this place before ever arriving. The work is a record of looking for romance, and despite the clichés, still finding it.

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