See Portraits and Interviews from Reality Talks Participants in New York and Morocco
About the Project:
“Reality Talks” is a social art project which serves as an inquiry into the values, beliefs, experiences, and meaning-making systems that constitute 'reality' for the individual. It involves a series of photographs and interviews aimed at uncovering how one perceives existence, reality, truth, objectivity, subjectivity, ambiguity, and how culture may play a role in the expression of these beliefs.
Many of us have lay conceptions about the way the world works. Although "reality" is a very broad term in itself, it can often bring up beliefs and thoughts that are fundamental to one's identity. My hope is that, when shared, these perceptions may give all of us insight into how we live and how we can understand our existence in the world. Therefore, the goal of "Reality Talks" is to legitimize the beliefs and knowledge of diverse individuals and to provide a space in which these thoughts can be explored together.
The project began in NYC and continued in Casablanca, Morocco at The Ultra Laboratory Artist Residence. The residency period, between July 1st and August 20th, was spent interviewing and photographing a series of portraits which attempt to reveal the embodiment and expression of each individual's perceptions.
Theory Behind "Reality Talks"
“Reality Talks” portrays individual cultural narratives but, in itself, is also shaped by certain cultural and epistemological theories and approaches such as: Intentionality, Standpoint Theory, Social Constructionism, and Critical Psychology methods. This project assumes that each person lives in the world and experiences the world as the relationship between subject and object. Each person helps to shape and is simultaneously shaped by the world around them. By asking about individuals’ beliefs on reality I hope to uncover small pieces of the way they make meaning out of their lives - how they relate to and describe their own intentional realities. Additionally, this project is shaped by the assumption that each person’s account of reality is shaped by and grounded in the societal context and culture of the individual, that there is no singular or universal reality. The goal is to understand how these beliefs shape individuals' social identities, not how it compares to any norm or scientific truth.
Keeping these assumptions in mind, I seek to represent people and their narratives as genuinely as I can. I attempt to draw out personal themes in each of the portraits and interviews and to capture the true complexity of each individual with the hope that sharing these unique realities will inspire discussion, thought, and understanding.