No Matter Where You Go
My final art project is an installation of train tickets I collected Paris and then used in a meditative exercise while in Paris. I collected the tickets all over the city whole we were traveling and meditated on the idea of all the individual journeys they represented. During this meditation I wrote ‘No matter where you go, there you are’ on each and every ticket, I meditated on this phrase often while traveling. I found many meanings in these words, but the most important to me was the idea of no matter where I was, I was still me and I still have control over my own happiness and it gave me comfort to think that I could will myself into a better mood or that I could choose to push through the fog of depression to create memories I would enjoy after I was home again. I have included a selection of 3 photographs I feel best articulate the feelings that I experienced as a result of culture shock. The image titled ‘Anonymous’ particularly stuck me as the singular image that can summarize the entire experience of culture shock. The image depicts a figure standing on a bridge to the Anonymous Stateless Immigrant’s Pavilion. The figures back is to us, denying us of their identity, the figure is also alone while we can tell the scene ahead is a bustling promenade. I particularly enjoyed the quietness of the image and its ability to convey solitude and sadness with a touch of hope and lightness. The image titled ‘Askew’ is an example of an image of strange juxtaposition. Why is there a leather chair sitting on the sidewalk? The lines of the street and the building are not straight, and it is all very disorienting. Which is a direct reflection on my feelings while in Europe. The image ‘Enchanted’ depicts a solitary figure emerging from darkness to gaze upon Paramour as a representation for the romantic ideal of the city, while it is also referencing the familiar Paramount symbol thereby creating a strange mix of Parisian with American culture. The last piece I included is a multimedia piece including a bought postcard and a hand drawn map of the subway system on vellum paper. The Postcard depicts a romanticized image of the Eiffel Tower, and I have mounted the images together so that the map obscures the romantic image of Paris. The very busy and brightly colored routes of the subway distract from and destroy the beautiful image of Paris so that the viewer has to struggle to see the dream like image of Paris as a reference to my own struggle to find the Paris I had dreamed of once I was faced with the reality of the experience. With these projects I hope to spread awareness of this process and to help non-affected people better understand its impact.