Frontiers offers a visual representation of my experience of multiculturalism, depicting an inner world of multiple languages, religions and cultural landscapes embedded in the mind as fragmented memories in search of wholeness.
Having grown up between France and the United States with frequent travels worldwide greatly influenced my vision and understanding of the world. Culturally, I am French, American, Algerian; raised among Jews, Atheists and southern Baptists; married to a Muslim and the mother of child who will carry all these cultures with him into a new generation.
Because I fit into multiple molds of culturally defined identities, I find myself more of an observer than a participant, living my life in the 2nd person; revising, editing and melting into the landscape. When home is everywhere and nowhere there is an incessant mental revision that makes reality ambiguous and the search for coherence becomes an instinctual reconstruction of memory through the fusion of place and time.
Influenced by an aesthetic and theoretical framework that is inspired by my readings of Hélène Cixous and Anaïs Nin as well as a childhood fascination with the work of René Magritte, these images place doubt on the perceived object, rendering them poetic yet strangely disturbing in their inability to be defined. My childhood desire to crawl into Magritte’s paintings has been profoundly significant in the composition of my images. Hidden in our world are multitudes of other worldly possibilities that cannot be perceived without a deconstruction. In that vein, these diaristic images seek to deconstruct the visual vocabulary in which we feel so comfortable. Imagery is text to the extent that we attempt to mentally define what we see everyday with words. When we travel between different cultures and landscapes those definitions often do not fit our preconceived notions and we search for ways to describe the indescribable. My understanding of other cultures has come from breaking through those predefined cultural and physical landscapes to the point of reinventing my own vision. This work places doubt on what we see, questioning whether the world can be viewed differently than we have constructed it socially.
About Sandrine Arons
Sandrine is a French/American photographer currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. She moved back to the United States 5 years ago from Paris, France where she was researching 20th century French writers for her dissertation on autobiography and personal writing. Before that she received an M.A. in Humanistic Psychology for which she studied Journal Writing and Self-Growth.
Her academic focus has been on identity, self-knowledge and self-understanding with a particular interest on identity fragmentation as regards gender and multiculturalism and how these issues are manifested and confronted in autobiography. Sandrine has continued this focus in her photographic work which now deals with many of the same issues but from personal perspective as opposed to a study of others.
She has most recently been exhibited at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, University of Central Florida Art Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art (Atlanta), SCAD Museum, APG Gallery, Further Polycontemporary Gallery, Darkroom Gallery, Mason Murer Fine Art, and the Lamar Dodd Art Center. Since moving back to Atlanta, she has been pursuing an M.F.A. in Photography at Savannah College of Art and Design. [ Official Website]