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Life

07th Dec 2015

A Photographer is Photo-Shopping Herself into Other People’s Memories for Good Reason

"We continued, and still continue now, to believe what we see in a photograph no matter how many times that photograph is revealed to be false"

Cassie Delaney

Photographer Jennifer Greenburg has been using digital technology to super impose herself into the memories of strangers. The perfectly photo-shopped black and white images resemble those likely to be found in any vintage photo album.

Born in Chicago, the photographer obtained a degree from The School of Art Institute in Chicago. In an interview with the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Jennifer said: “My initial discovery of this population was through my lifelong love of vintage clothing and music.

“It was with great surprise that my interest uncovered an entire culture of people who love the things I love, yet who also live their lives in such contrast to my own contemporary realities”.

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Speaking to Her.ie, Jennifer said: “When my monograph, ‘The Rockabillies’, was published in 2009, I knew I had to change directions as an artist and photographer. I had become disillusioned by documentary photography as a form of expression.  It occurred to me, as I looked through my work, that what was in front of the lens had almost nothing to do with the final image.

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“My hand produced an interpretation of what I thought I saw rather than what had actually been.  Even though I never interfered with what was in front of the camera, something about my images pointed back to my personal conclusions”.

When Jennifer began the series she intended to provoke conversation about revisionism.

She continued: “We continued, and still continue now, to believe what we see in a photograph no matter how many times that photograph is revealed to be false. Significant historical events forever changed by photography were my initial inspiration. I then concluded that following a script given to us by photography affected even our own private lives”.

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“I discovered that each of us revise our own memories in favour of something we think we see in our photographs. Boring parties are redrafted into amazing evenings! Our youth reformed into carefree epochs! Never mind those concerns that consumed your every waking moment!  You cannot see any of those things in the photograph! Reality is replaced with a nostalgic appropriation”.

Images published with permission from Jennifer Greenburg.