01 March 2012

Photo Essay #2: Religious Icons

Round 2 on the photo essays for my French photography class.  I like the idea of the essay way more than the photos themselves. They're not as strong as I'd hoped; probably because it was a total awkfest as I was lurking around church, not blending in at all with a giant *borrowed from work* Cannon 5D Mark II around my neck. The run-away baby is probably my fave, with its strong lines and the fact that the baby's movements mimic exactly those of the woman he's following. Anyway, enjoy.

Religious Icons: An Ordinary Day at a Mormon Church

Robert Frank’s street photographs of what later became iconic emblems of American-ness made me consider what I see regularly in my surrounding environment, but which I fail to recognize as definitive of my culture.  It took a Swiss—an outsider, looking in—to notice the things that were symbolic of and unique to American city life.  Thus, I attempted to assume the role of “outsider,” “foreigner,” in order to better identify and appreciate the scenes and objects that slip under my dulled radar.  What is iconic in my own environment?  Most obviously, my church.  It is a community and society and culture that I’ve grown up with.  So, naturally, what could be seen by an outsider as a rather peculiar atmosphere is quite normal for me.  This photographic, role-reversal experience opened my eyes to all of the iconic displays that truly define the Mormon church-going culture. 

The Sacrament Meeting ditchers: the know-it-all, the flirt, and the gamer
The run-away baby
The folding chairs, the accordion room-divider, and the music stand 
The coat rack and two...CIA agents? Nope, just 20-somethings with scripture cases and callings
The waiter-in-line-to-meet-with-the-Stake-President; a typical Suburban parked out front

1 comment:

  1. ...Not to mention the floral-y print sofas. Does every church building have the same ones? Nice job, Sarah!