Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Marietta Van Buhler | One Life Photos 2011

Marietta Van Buhler | One Life Photos

One Life Photos 2011

"Tethered" Scio Twp. Michigan - 2010 and "Vanish" Dexter Michigan - 2011

What connects us? In the photograph "Tethered", the view of the telephone lines and the ladders suggest connections and yet we often find ourselves alone. I came across this worker one hot summer morning after being newly laid off from my university research position and was full of questions as to life's work/purpose. This image seemed to encapsulate these intense feelings of needing to feel productive and valued through work while understanding the ties to humanity and the value of our existence in a connected and yet singular pursuit.

In "Vanish", the absence of light other than that provided by the streetlight cast doubt on the boundaries of the image. In the absence of sound, are we heard? In the absence of light, are we seen? Without feedback do we start to doubt our own existence? 

Michigan was hard hit in terms of job losses in late 2008. Finding work is still difficult today. Many unemployed individuals are suffering in isolation; - doubting their value, their worth, their identity. The ties to the state, to communities, to families are all feeling the strain as the tether anchored in our work is slowly vanishing.

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