For the past six years, Boston photographer, Paris Visone, has been capturing her world in a continuing series, Gender Roles and Appearance. She has been able to document her personal recollections and immortalize them from the time she was still a teenager, and as as she states, change is a natural progression. Although time and life is often perceived as a straight line, they are not. These concepts are vast yet narrow and complicated yet, clean. These photos herein lie what exists in-between, and are never premeditated. This 23 year old wunderkind went to the Art Institute of Boston and teaches digital photography at her alma mater in the summer.
Paris is a natural storyteller, and we have the lucky ability to see her short stories build into a novel. I’m sharing a lot of images, as her documentation is lengthy. Undoubtedly this series will continue indefinitely and I look forward to checking on her progress in the future.
In this series of photographs, my intention is two-fold. First, is to explore the gender dynamics and sexuality of my subjects. Secondly, I am trying to capture how these dynamics are transformed into “appearances” which my subjects feel they must uphold. These dynamics are preserved as they are passed down from one generation to the next. “You have to look good.” “You have to be a man.” “You have to look young if you are old, and old if you are young.” “The more muscles you have, the better you are.” These social pressures are a focus in many people’s daily lives. For most people, young and old, maintaining and upholding an “image” has become an obsession. This obsession extends not only to appearance, but also to the gender roles one is imprinted with at a very young age. Throughout the course of their life, the majority of people are trapped in the confines of these roles, most oblivious to the existence of any confines at all. One can not escape that which he does not see.
There are layers of image-consciousness at work. I am emphasizing the way the subjects want to be perceived, the way the photographer is capturing them, and the way the viewer perceives the image as a whole.
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