Watching My Father Die: A Personal Digital Story Shown on the App Snapchat
Each day a photo is posted, fading 24-hours later.
November 1 To November 30, 2015
This project uses Snapchat’s fleeting images to investigate ephemeral moments of life and memory.
For the digital photographic project, “Scenes from a Life, Ch. 3,” I share personal photographs of my father’s decline and eventual death on the social media app Snapchat daily during November, 2015.
Each day, an image is uploaded. It can only be viewed for twenty four hours before it disappears. The experience is personal since the viewer holds each photograph in their hand.
Memory and Impermanence Unobtrusively Captured.
Referencing memory and impermanence, these photographs are a visceral portrait of intimate human relations, tracing my personal experience of death, loss and grieving.
In the self portraits where me and my dad are together, our life is captured as it unfolds, basically in real time. I usually don’t look through the camera’s viewfinder; rather the photo is framed and captured remotely to be as unobtrusive as possible.
Death is universal but rarely seen. Or when we do see it, it is “somewhere else”: dramatic, war-torn, from a distant land. The intent here is to capture lyrical private moments that are normally hidden.
Informed by Cinema and Painting.
The project borrows from both narrative and documentary traditions. The work is informed by German and Italian cinema (such as R.W. Fassbinder’s “Alexanderplatz,” and Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blow Up,” or “L’avventura”) and Nineteenth century American painting (such as the Hudson River School, and John Singer Sargent), as well as the1970s Swedish television show, “Scenes from a Marriage,” by Ingmar Bergman.
The project started about four years ago but most images are from the Fall of 2014, representing the last three months of his life. My father died November 24, 2014.
How to See the Show.
To the see the photography exhibition, sign in to Snapchat (or download it) on their phone, then add “SteveGiovinco” as a Friend.
The show runs November 1 through November 30, 2015.