Ethan Arro Jones
Sunday, 31 May 2009
“As a young adult entering my twenties, I found myself full of questions and I began looking for answers in the photographs I was making of my peers. Still showing glimpses of their youthful innocence, these new adults are wading, beautiful and naked, in the chilly waters of Lake Ontario during cool, early fall mornings.
Photographing with my hands and camera resting on top of the water, I have brought the viewer into the situation as a witness to what I encountered with my peers. Each person walks into an aura of pure water and undergoes a transformation. This numbing bath causes social cover–ups and facades to be unveiled by the uneasiness of the water and the entire situation. This act makes the subjects vulnerable and exhausted, presenting a less comfortable yet more honest person.
The variety in physical and emotional responses among similar yet clearly different people defines the series. From statuesque arms to nervous fingers and goose–bump covered bodies, the subjects’ appearances display a powerful transition. This newfound tension causes some people to appear totally lost while others maintain their composure. Eventually, all of the subjects’ pretenses are left behind.
Through this singular experience everyone is similar. We are here together, not alone. The sense of trust and love, tension and anticipation, emergence and energy displayed in the portraits ultimately speak to the emotions involved for us all as we enter our twenties.”
“For several months, I ritualistically created photographs loosely based on my visual life. In order to make new, different, and exciting photographs I gave myself one specific limitation, a set working distance. The distance I chose was my awkwardly tall height of 79 inches. In one sense, every image is a portrayal of that height, but since the pictures are neither awkward nor representative of my tallness I no longer see them as such.
The photographs have become about living in a college house and then vacationing in Nantucket. There is a difference in the houses that is vast in style, size, cleanliness, location, and class. To me the photographs feel like they belong in the same story because the images are treated in the same manner visually by paying attention to light, color and composition all while trying to make the best photographs I could form the same distance over and over again. I also think that I was searching and looking for the same feeling in both places, a sense of home; I believe that I found it in parts of both places.
Now, the most interesting part of the photographic journey that I made with these images is that my height became insignificant. The vertical height was turned horizontal and it lost all emphasis when the context of my height was absent from the photographs. Due to this near lack of context, these photographs feel more embellished than the images I want to make. In a way the photographic story is my own little lie; the tall tale has been turned into a beautiful photograph.” – Ethan Arro Jones