Odaiba, 2008 © Emily Shur
First of all, I want to thank everyone who commented on the previous Dreaded Project post, as well as the people who emailed me. I think that some readers might have interpreted that post as “Why can’t I seem to start, finish, or get into a project?” When actually, the post was more me voicing my frustration about a game that I personally do not want to play with my photography, nor do I think other photographers should feel forced to fit their work into a uncomfortable mold. This is not to say that at some point I wouldn’t want to push myself to try and get on the project train, or that I haven’t tried to in the past. This is also not to say that I have no interest in thinking about my photography in more intellectual terms than “Me want to take picture.” Feel free to insert a grunt before that quote.
I don’t want to get bogged down by semantics. The word project can mean many things, and I don’t want to hate on it too much. You can attach that word to any body of work you choose…whether you shot it with a project in mind, or you found a project in the work after it was made. Or you could make up a word. The word is not the issue…it’s the mindset. For me, it’s sort of akin to the gay marriage debacle, in the sense that there are some morons that claim they are all for equal rights, but just can’t find it within themselves to get behind the word “marriage” when used to describe a legal union of two people of the same sex.
Do I discriminate against the word project? Am I a project-phobe? Possibly. I think about all of these things while I attempt to edit one hundred and something work prints down to twenty to apply to Review Santa Fe. I applied last year and did not get in. Maybe better luck this year. Then again, maybe not. In any case, this is opening my mind. So, I got that going for me…which is nice.