I am a different person from ten years ago. Different from five years ago. In fact, much has changed in the last twelve months that make me feel like someone new. There is no doubt that my perception of the self will alter in the future. No doubt that others will recognize the changes that surface. What happens to that person of the past? What will happen to the person of the present?
Although these questions are touched upon in Connected Through Stories, they are mostly left unanswered. Instead, Noemi Gonzalez attempts to capture singular moments in our lives. A reality that she recognizes will not last.
Identity changes, as do people. Gonzalez is at peace with that, in fact, she celebrates it. Her photographs reflect moments as she will remember them. People that she treasures will continue to exist in that image, that 11-by-8 inch photograph, eternally. The photo occupies two entities. The first, to extract a certain stage in life. The second, as a cherished object, the photograph itself.
Gonzalez emphasizes the idea of objects in her piece, focusing on the importance of items. They are an extension of our identity, how we spend our time with things, and on occasion, even adoring them. Showing them off to anyone that will listen. Decorating our space with them. Playing with our trinkets. Objects have the potential to reflecting a part of our development unique to a specific period in our existence. Our history. I can’t help but remember when I was seventeen, where my skateboard received plenty of worship. A time where I identified as a skater.
Objects serve as a reminder of who we were, and who we are.
For Gonzalez, the photographs in display provide a sense of empowerment. Reinforcing her identity, welcoming all to share those moments with her. Sit down on golden chairs, draw your own stories from what there is to see.
Connect. Reflect. What kind of person were you a few years ago? What about loved ones? People you no longer stay in touch with? How do you make sense of a person that may only exist in your memory? What kind of purpose does an object serve that only resonates with a past life? I’m not sure these questions matter too much for Gonzalez. She’s more concerned about love and affection, the individuals or things responsible for it. Those memories, along with the tangled emotions, are worthy of sharing.
I wonder, what do you love? Who do you love?
Growing up with a big emphasis on following what you love, Noemi Gonzalez has always followed her passion for beauty and intertwining stories.
She took an interest in photography in 2012 as a sophomore in High School. The beauty of capturing a moment forever has always been something she admired in many famous photographers. Gonzalez loves to photograph both the effortless beauty in nature, the small unguarded flashes of life, and the stories behind objects.
Gonzalez is proud of her series to be featured in ArtPrize. Many of the unposed images occurred by happenstance, only explained by being there at the right place in the right time.