AmericaShotA Sort of Desperation: Self-Portraits by Jady Bates

I have been locked inside since March. It has been almost a year and a sort of desperation is seeping in and seeping out. It is tangled and multi-layered, but deep and real.

I have been locked inside since March. It has been almost a year and a sort of desperation is seeping in and seeping out. It is tangled and multi-layered, but deep and real.

I can no longer meet and greet and sit with people as I once did. Intermingling in my city and snapping photos and trading quips. Everything is distant and more silent. I can recognize smiling eyes and the micro-musculature engaging me in a more refined pick up since no real smiles get seen. It’s only “the sense” of it, of course, as we are all locked away to keep each other safe as well as ourselves. How long this half-life will continue is yet to be known. I make self-portraits in my home out of a quiet desperation that I believe also reflects a larger desperation emerging. Huge rifts in humans’ understanding of body language and togetherness emerge in a kind of fog. This is both mental and physical and it is disorienting. Maybe we will simply learn to live like this in a rolling vaccination state that perpetually keeps us masked and behind closed doors. Perhaps a bit of craziness is setting in that cannot yet be described, that cannot fully be understood. It grows in quiet and we have yet to fully see it.

The photos in this series conglomerate into a streaming mass of faces, feelings and certainly, a kind of desperation. Perhaps in the beginning of lockdown/quarantine, we are rushing with adrenaline, a little excited for the drama and fear of it. But one year into the lockdown with fearful pandemic numbers still rising…. the desperation, loneliness, borings, the complete route, the sameness, the lack of social anything has spawned a state-of-mind starved for something missing. “A need for life” is more than staying inside for one year and staying at home – not seeing family or friends, neighbors or regular interactions with socials; regular practice being social. It creeps up and scares us with the need to live, to feel alive. Perhaps even introverts need the social landscape of things more than I previously understood. Perhaps my desperation can be seen here. [Official Website]



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