Fall 2019 BFA Exhibition
Aaron Bacus, Boise State UniversityFollow
digital print on metal
Dimensions: 20 x 30 inches
This visit to Yellowstone was turning out different than anticipated. My eyes are open, but I cannot see what I am doing. With sweat slowly rolling down and across my brow in a never-ending stream, tickling its way into the periphery of my consciousness, I concentrate harder. My arms, buried to the elbows in a hot black bag and my hands carefully removing film from holders and placing them into a box for safe keeping, I mentally trudge on. I think to myself, is the hassle of these inconveniences piling up worth this? As I squinted, huddled under a black cloth and again sweating, attempting to pinpoint the focus on this ancient relic of a camera all the while being gawked at by thousands of strangers... again worth it? It was at these moments where I thought about those that came before me.
Their hard work is the reason we have National Parks. Shooting with a 4x5 large format camera was a way for me to bridge the divide from today’s world of digital photography and the old days of analog. This body of work is heavily process driven and is a combination of shooting film and shooting digital and then printing digitally and printing in the darkroom. A mixing of the two. Those well-known photographers that came before were documenting the “American West” mostly in an attempt to help preserve the land. I wanted to focus on some of the beautiful parts of Yellowstone, but I also think a lot about the negative impact of humans on these types of ecosystems. I contemplate whether I am part of the problems that do exist. Such as the close interaction we can have with the bison traffic jams or the continuous foot traffic on countless trails.
This body of work is about documenting and contemplating. It is about a search internally while also exploring externally and linking me to those that came before in some small way.
© Aaron Bacus, 2019.
Since January 21, 2020
film, scan, nature, national park, grid, Idaho
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