Exercise:  Childhood memory

I was moved recently by the snow here in Istanbul.  We have more snow here than I have seen in a while and it really brought be back to the winters of my childhood in the Northwest of the United States.  My dad used to take us skiing each winter, which is something I miss a lot.

Yesterday I was scouting some areas for assignment 3 and trudging through the snow I was reminded of those winters and spent the rest of the afternoon looking for places to cross country ski in Europe.  So I decided to re-create an image I have of being in Idaho with my dad as we went cross country skiing.  In fact, the lack of access to nature here makes me really sad at times, so this image (and the weather) makes me feel warm and content.

I don’t have ski equipment here, so I borrowed some ski poles from a friend and made this image.  I love how the snow makes such a clean slate.  It has been such a difficult time in Istanbul lately, so I have welcomed the quiet, beauty, and cleansing nature of the heavy snow fall.

They aren’t ski tracks, but it does remind me of the ski trails we used to cut in the wild forests of my childhood landscape. The path as it disappears into the vanishing point so obviously represents a journey, but even if it sounds cliche, it is moments like this that I remember I am on a journey and that life has its high and low points, and it is important to connect with the ‘spaces in between’ as Abramovic says.


The other ones I took are not so much a memory, but more of the memory of my childhood still inhabiting my body. My childhood wasn’t always easy, which is why I struggle at times–always in private.  My public persona is very much together and projects someone who came from a ‘normal’ background.

In both images I was trying to portray a sense of disconnection from the body and the self and maybe a sense of feeling insignificant and not seen.


In the first image I shot into mirrored doors that I opened to give the distorted effect.  I was trying to go for a disembodied feel.


In this image I took a photograph of myself from the confines of my bed with the still life effect of the bathroom in the background. It makes me look very small and vulnerable. The cluttered framing here is like my mind when I can’t let the memories go, and I lose myself in all of it.

I have decided to go with self-portraits for assignment 3 that are more positive than the dark idea I had before.  I feel it represents more of who I am.  The darkness is also a part of me, but it isn’t something I embrace so I am going to try and shoot images based on Abramovic’s method.


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