In a world as connected as ours, it is hard to imagine that someone could disappear without a trace, never to be heard from or seen again. According to the National Crime Information Center, more than 320,000 women went missing in the United States in 2016. It seems as if these women vanish into thin air, leaving scarce information as to where they may have gone, and with little evidence to go off of, many of these cases remain cold, and their files are left to capture dust.
Taken with a pinhole camera, Into Thin Air is a series of self-portraits that depict the location where each missing woman was last seen. Whether they disappeared decades or only months ago, these women’s stories should not be forgotten. In this project, I place myself in the shoes of the missing, hoping that in some way, I can give life back to these women who may or may not still exist.
My Grandmother's Keeper
My grandmother is almost 90 years old and has dementia. Out of eight children, she is the last still living, something she does not even remember. The memories she has, or thinks she has, could be fact or fiction.
After moving into an assisted living home, my grandparents passed on their photo albums to my mother, who then gave them to me. As I turn each page, I uncover small glimpses into my grandmother’s life, a life she remembers very little of. If I show her these photographs now, she stares at them blankly, not recognizing her own face. It is almost as if all these recorded moments, these memories, of the past 90 years never happened.
My Grandmother’s Keeper is a collection of images printed with the wet plate collodion process onto glass and backed with black metal. The imperfections in the printing represent how memories become distorted over time: certain details are forgotten, the timeline of events are confused.
Although my grandmother may not remember most of what she did in her life, these images serve as a memento of moments that have long since passed.