Thursday, January 15, 2009
Fight Night Diptychs
I had to come up with a portfolio for my grad school application for a MFA photography program. Originally each set of pictures started out as individual projects. I decided to show them in diptych form, because I need to create a body of work that was cohesive. I felt most of my recent work as a photojournalist was to scattered to work well in a application for a fine art photo program.
My work explores the line between the real and the imaginary world of violence, in the context of entertainment. Violence as entertainment is an important part of the human experience. In America, violence has become just another commodity that is available for consumption. I used digital photography to document the world of independent professional wrestling and the world of mix-martial arts. Both use violence to entertain their viewers. In one world the actions are very real and in the other the violence is simply mimicked.
We place the actions of the fighters and wrestler outside of our own personal realities, into a dream world, because we watch these events from a safe distance of our television or as an audience member. This allows us to dehumanize what is taking place in front of us. The fighters and wrestlers become actors in our dream world. In reality, outside of this fantasized context, this type of violence would not be condoned.
I am interested in how both mediums surround themselves in worlds of fantasy. In this context, the line between reality and imagination is blurred. In the hyper-reality that encompasses both worlds, under the lights of the stage in full public view, the acts become interchangeable.
The goal of my work was to focus on this indistinct space, where the two worlds overlap. America’s cultural values are reflected in this space. I combined these separate worlds by creating diptychs, made up of one image from mix-martial arts and one image from independent professional wrestling. Because the two worlds mirror each other, I have arranged the diptychs in a way to let the viewer decide with is real and which is imagined.