a life in progress

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Narratives, identities, truths… Our understandings are shaped by what we can perceive ourselves, what we are told, what we can assent to believe. Memories are the mental documents of our pasts; photographs are physical ones. How do we (re)create our own histories and perception of what is/was real with these tools? In telling our stories, in taking pictures, we make decisions. We may focus on some things and let others fade away, we may edit and censor, cut out what we consider irrelevant, distracting, or would rather not acknowledge… What we share may change depending on who we are sharing with, a changed perspective, a different mood, or our minds being drawn to some certain subject. Even if we wanted to share everything about ourselves, could we ever hope to reveal "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"? Our lives are made up of so many moments, we can’t commit them all to memory or hold every one in significance. Our readings of our own memories change with time, along with our changing ideas and feelings. Our own understandings may grant an importance to a moment that no one else would be able to infer with their own understandings.

A Life in Progress consists of a picture (and sometimes a video) taken every hour on the hour, but can be presented in many variations. Over a year's worth of images have been displayed as a grid 8 ft tall and over 200 ft long. Books have been created by pulling specific narratives from the larger body of work. An online version can be viewed at alifeinprogress.dawngraham.com. It began in October 2007 and continues to the present.

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