Capstone Ideas

Senior capstone is going to be the death of me.  I need to have a full body of work developed and ready to show by April.  This doesn't seem like a lot but the process to get there is going to be quite the trip. 

So what am I thinking about?  Right now I'm very interested in composite and tableau style photography.  Until recently my efforts in this direction haven't been very skillful but it's an area I'm actively practicing and learning about.  There are some amazing artists that I've become obsessed with, especially .  The way he manages to visualize things that existed only in his dreams and imagination prior to making is just impressive.  The way he processes the reality he captures photographically into these amazing composite artworks and each shot has a story that the viewer can discover.

But the question is: what do I have to say?  I've been keeping things at arms length for a long time in my work because looking at myself isn't pretty and I like making pretty things.  I enjoy getting Ooohs and Aaahhs from the crowd but when I look at who is doing the oohing and aaahing I see that they're not necessarily the artists that I want to look at my work and approve.  So the surface level aesthetic work needs to be discarded in favor of something that has a meaning.  I'm not a very political person and I have a tendency to resist being told what my work should be about which is why my military focused sets have a very cold and impersonal feel to them.  To me, that was a very impersonal part of my life.  I don't see that as being part of my personality.  It's something I did, not something I became.  Being a navy air traffic controller was no different to me than being a waiter, working at a fast food place or being a cheesemonger.  They were jobs that I worked and then went back to my life of being me. 

Looking back at my life, however, I start to see things that upset me. I feel that, at each crossroad in my life I made a choice that I wanted to lead me to Point A and yet somehow I'm over here at Point C.  I can see others who tripped and fell into success, those who were born into success and other things, but I look at my life and worry that I've misstepped but I can't tell where.

So right now I'm looking at anger, frustration and mediocrity.  The fight to raise myself above the level of my birth and family and the failure to do so.  The phrase I was offered was the Failure of a Man.  what it means to be a failed man and just how common yet isolating that is.

Another surreal photographer writes about her work in terms of self portrait as expression and healing.  She uses her work as therapy to work out her inner demons, though those are my words.  I think that's the direction I want to go right now, forcing myself to look at the kinds of things that I normally look away from.  One of my great defense mechanisms since I was a child is to turn away from a hard truth into a more inviting escapist fantasy.  When I was young it was books and games, now it's shrugging, laughing it off and turning to something more ideal.  

But the big issue here is: how do I show this in a still photography?