Saturday, October 13, 2012

RUTLAND: "Memories" Photos by Tami Crupi Zeman

Artist Reception & Gallery Talk: October 27, 2-4 pm.
Exhibit Runs October 5 - November 3, 2012
Chaffee Art Center, Rutland

The exhibit, entitled Memories, will be in the central downstairs gallery of the Chaffee Art Center. The show coincides with the Chaffee's Annual Photography Contest, which was judged  by Tami Crupi Zeman and two other members.

Artist Statement
We are all connected.  Relationships define who we are. As humans, the “bonds” we all have experienced and shared allow us to identify, and relate, to this. A photograph can do this by triggering a memory - a recognition occurring in each person, of something we have collectively experienced before.

Victims of disaster, who have lost all of their personal possessions, have been quoted as saying their greatest sense of loss comes from the loss of family photos.  Everything else can be replaced, but not the photos - the physical record of their memories - and for this, they grieve.

This type of grief, although potentially different, is something everyone can understand simply by being human, because we feel.

Photographs also become personal objects, and I created a photographic series exploring the photograph as an object.  In putting the series together, I asked people to hold a photograph that had meaning to them, something personal.  In most cases, the selected image would be a photograph of a loved one, or that person with a loved one.  I took my portrait while my subject spoke about their photograph, and I listened to their stories, while recording or taking notes.  In the process of creating my series, the subject’s story became just as important to me as the photograph itself.

The photographs I took became my personal property and are objects, but when I look at these images, they are much more than that.  I gaze at the photographs and recall each subject, along with his or her story - including the who, what, when and where. These images hold vivid memories for me, as time and moments shared with my subjects.  Those memories have become my story.

I felt connected to the subjects while creating this series.  As I listened to their stories, memories and experiences, I was touched by their recollections, as their experiences mirrored my own. I could relate to them.  This is the same feeling I seek in my own photographic endeavors - to the have the viewer understand our shared memories. By virtue of being human, we recognize this in either an object we have owned or seen before, or possibly, in a gesture or expression.  We see the same consciousness in the subject, as in ourselves, and so, we are connected.  Rather than see ourselves as only separated from one another, it is our shared memories and experiences that define us as individuals, yet connect us as a whole. 
– Tami Crupi Zeman

Tami Crupi Zeman

Chaffee Art Center
16 South Main Street
Rutland, VT 05701