Location: Dayon, Ohio, United States
At Table (2004-2019) documents everyday spaces of expression and connection – dining rooms, kitchens, restaurants, bars and coffee tables in locations scattered around the globe. In the USA, Mexico, Canada, China, Europe and beyond, I use my lens to navigate from a perspective that is local in depth but global in breadth. I have collected thousands of moments that capture friends, family and erstwhile strangers sharing time around food and drink in spaces where I am also an active participant. My “tablescapes” offer subtle moments of drama and humor in which gestures, expressions and objects combine to perform as cultural artifacts and personal memories. I see the table as a space that can often transcend cultural barriers to become a place for authentic interaction. While formal surface qualities connect the photographs – bold colors, exaggerated facial expressions, the messy contingency of plates and bottles and condiments – the series arose from the notion and need to forge diverse relationships both within and outside of the familial. For an only child, these photographs have come to represent moments shared with an extended family that defies traditional definition. On a broader level, the work offers a casual visual anthropology of everyday moments shared by a range of cultures, while also addressing how photographs may function as both imperfect personal memories and problematic shared histories. Given the long term nature of the project, the collection also subtly reveals shifts in photographic technology and consumer culture, which are presented to the viewer in a non-linear, non hierarchical groupings. While I am also interested in moments of material excess (from beer-soaked revelry to abundant plastic tableware) and social rupture (from fatigue and distraction to eye rolls and arguments), At Table ultimately aims to connect, rather than solely critique, aspects of the human condition that collide and converge in a familiar, everyday place – the table.