Joshua Tarplin


I am a photographer living in Connecticut, and the rituals of photography structure the meaning of my life. Photography expands imagination over facts, uncovers the 90% of possibility sinking below the 10% of actuality above the surfaces around me. Working with photography grants me entry into possibility: of seeing everything as it could be and knowing how I or someone else might see anything in many different ways. I focus on taming this ambiguity, on working with photographic technology in a way that allows me to discover rather than represent, to learn in collaboration with photography rather than display my preformed notions photographically, to capture a more complete expression in the space around images than in the frames themselves. Images affect how I see myself, other people, and our world. I feel unrest and uncertainty trying to reconcile images with my understandings. Images are not neutral: they bite, push and pull me to control how I imagine about what they depict. I glance up at a person walking toward me on the sidewalk and their image comes to me, quick and clean and describing haphazardly, a fragment. I stare at a lover for months and struggle, caught in between comprehension of him and my image of the others waiting. Images can be fast or slow. They can streamline vision by categorizing what I see into a simplified image-bank or make me stop and turn and look longingly to see something in a new way, a way with less prescription and more possibility.

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