Longing and Belonging

In late Spring 2015, I stepped out the front door of my Prairie Village, Kansas, home and into suddenly unfamiliar surroundings. Armed with a small, unobtrusive camera, I was intent on self-reflection and really seeing what I felt had gone unnoticed for far too long. I felt a sense of urgency to make images in my quaint, Leave-it-to-Beaver-like neighborhood that went beyond a sense of place. In addition to the discomfort of looking inward, this mundane and sleepy palette of middle-America presented a necessary, visual challenge that I’d not experienced in previous road trips, travels or commercial work. The project began to reveal itself in scenes and moments, that compositionally felt lonely or disconnected, but were painted in warm and often sanguine light. The work was slowly becoming an expression of my current and past feelings of loneliness, disconnection and longing. This selection of images, while documentary in feel and technique, is more of a visual record of my own psychology projected onto others than it is a document about the subjects or my feelings about those subjects. Fear, social conformity, pressure to follow in the footsteps of our antecedents, and material comforts and conveniences, perhaps have led some of us astray and even chase dreams that weren’t our own to begin with. If we temper our quest to belong, do we discover our most authentic persona?

Photography by Dan Videtich

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Categories: Essay, Visual

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