The greatest failure of photography is its inherent nostalgia. It forces us to constantly look backwards, filling present voids with imperfect depictions of the past. Photographs promise something permanent yet their very existence is a direct result of how ephemeral the experiences they represent actually are. They fall pitifully short in capturing the essence of what we want them to represent, yet we still expect them to act as stand-ins for the past. My work, while stemming from autobiographical experiences, investigates our relationship, expectations, and attachment to the photographic image. The images are direct, photographed with an objective distance that hovers between the intimate and the analytic. Linear time is disregarded as the very existence of a photograph is an interruption to that system. Photographs can be reflected on with both sorrow and delight as their presence suggests a glimpse of our past, present, and future all in one moment. The expectation that photography can be equated with foreverness is undone through images of unending landscapes, ailing pets, and the nostalgia associated with vernacular images and documents.
About Sarah Smith:
Originally from Middletown, New York, Sarah Smith received a MFA from the University of Iowa in 2013 and a BFA from Murray State University. Her recent solo and two-person exhibitions include, I Can’t Love Nobody Else But You at Penn State Altoona’s Sheetz Gallery and An Island is Unreliable at the Janice Mason Art Museum. Her work has been included in various group exhibitions including Art Helix in Brooklyn, Roman Susan Gallery in Chicago, and the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. Her short film “Everything is Here” was recently screened at Torch Cinema Outdoors at TROOST in Brooklyn, NY. In 2017 she will be showing new work in a solo exhibition at The Shed Space in Brooklyn, NY. Sarah currently lives in Tennessee where she teaches at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.