365 Days (Plus One)
The daily self portrait project of a student studying in St. Petersburg, Russia for one year.
Elizabeth “E.B.” Andersen Bartels, Class of 2010
Sculpture Court, Jewett Art Center
View her project website
Exhibit Dates: Sept. 4-24, 2009
Opening Reception: Thurs., Sept. 10, 4:45-6pm
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday 12-5pm
I decided to take my daily self portraits of my whole person, placed in my new environment of St. Petersburg. But as I wanted my project to be about the fact that I was living in this new place – not a mere, traveling visitor, photographing herself in the most iconic of locations, and indeed the first time I had lived somewhere outside of the Greater Boston Area – I chose the same location every day: the place where I would lay down at night to sleep. This started as the room given to me by my Russian host family in the summer and fall, and then evolved into hostels I stayed at on weekend trips, my bedroom back in Lexington when I was home for a visit, and finally the apartment I rented for my spring semester.
The project for me was not about documenting my aging or the physical changes to my body – though my hair certainly gets longer and longer as the photos go on, and everyone always wants to know if I look “more Russian” by the end. I wanted to document my reaction to this new place I found myself in, the people who came in and out of my life over the months, and dealing with living in place that can be wonderful, frustrating, and horrible all in one day. I wanted to collect each day and remember it, because, for me, it was not specific, huge, events that made my experience in Russia what it was, but each individual, seemingly ordinary day, good days, bad days, they are all in there, and each one had an impact for better or for worse.