Jessica Tifase: The Harvest

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Artist Statement

The Harvest, is a photography series that I created as a visual ode to Black men. We are in a time when unarmed Black men are being slaughtered on camera, and little Black boys are being taught how to respond to their aggressors before even learning how to ride a bike. And I can’t help but question why these realities are so normalized in our society. So, this series explores the identities of Black men through a decolonized lens, and the relationship that that creates between the subject and the viewer.

By using a 4x5 large format camera and black and white film, I’m able to photograph my friends while removing elements that have been historically used to misrepresent Black men in the media. This practice is a way of cancelling out the noise, to explore the rawness behind each photograph. There is no room for biases, fixed narratives or preconceived notions. Just liberation in the silence that is created.

In this long-lasting season of the criminalization and dehumanization of Black people in this country, I want this piece to serve as a reminder to my brothers--You are the fruit of seeds past generations have sown into the grounds of this bitter Earth. You are rich and you are evergreen.

About the Project 

  • Title of Work: The Harvest
  • Medium: Four 18x24 photographs
  • Student's Name: Jessica Tifase
  • Major: Digital Storytelling
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2021
  • Hometown: Houston, Texas
  • Student's Mentor: Joe Johnson
  • Mentor's Department: Art-Photography
  • Art Project ID: 21VADS - 025

Comments

Rose

What kind of camera did you use to take the images?

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Sarah Humfeld

Jessica, thank you for creating and sharing these powerful images. I am especially attracted to the third image, the one comprised of multiple exposures. I really like this technique, as it gives a sense of multi-dimensionality to the subject. As you are trying to break stereotypes of black men (to dispel the 'single story' that culture tells about them), I love that you represent multiple dimensions in a single moment. Thank you for sharing! 

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Jim Spain

I appreciate that you describe the photographs as genuine and I strongly agree with you.  Being genuine and authentic is key to creating the relationships with the art and effectively communicating the message you have shared. 

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