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  • Writer's pictureAndrea O'Bert


For my final photography project this semester, I wanted to do an alternative set of portraits that use the most important objects in one's life to describe themselves. Here is my artist statement: "Every ancient history class will undoubtedly spend time looking at the objects left over by ancient civilizations. Archaeologists uncover pots, tools, jewelry, and art created by ancient peoples every day and we use these objects to not only learn about past civilizations, but also to characterize the individuals that lived in that time. We use inanimate, rather insignificant items to define the lives and personalities of people we’ve never met. We use objects to define humans. Though this process has existed for many years to learn more about life thousands of years ago, we often do not consider that the same process exists in the modern world. We live in a society that places value in the inanimate, whether based on their monetary value, the memories associated with them or their practicality in our everyday lives. Even today, we still often find ourselves using objects to define our humanity. For Artifacts, I asked many people of different ages and backgrounds to bring forth their most prized possessions. I asked them to bring 5-10 items that they cherish most, and that they feel are definitive of their personality. In this alternative portrait series, I hope to emphasize the subjective value that we place in simple objects and how we use everyday items to define our sense of self. By arranging the items on a clean background in the way that historical relics are presented, I hope to create a connection between the ancient and modern artifacts placed alongside a traditional portrait that explains the connection between these inanimate forms and the person that identifies with them. "

Here's some of the photos! I'd love to hear what you all think!

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