Since photography’s inception, the public’s natural inclination is that photography is the ultimate truth-teller.
They have been misled.
Today, more than ever before, we are surrounded by lies. Our culture is dominated by photographs that desire, desperately, to be true. To serve as evidence of our travels, achievements and popularity. The world of social media is a world of half-truths, exaggerations and outright lies. This is the world that young people are attempting to grow up in.
For those mired in this newfound environment, their reality is different from those whom have come before. The biographies that they form of everyone they know, even their most intimate of friends, are a mix of the fiction that they see in social media posts and the in-person experiences they have. No one is completely what they seem.
The images for The Taradiddle High School Yearbook Project, 2014-15 focus on a consistent group of young people. However, the high school they attend and the connections between them, like much of the world they actually live in, are a work of fiction. Using their own stories, rumors, pop culture influences and their own desires, we create images that belong to a world that appears to be real; and as far as truth in our society is considered, it is. For often, the only proof that an event took place are the images that accompany the story, even if those images and events never took place as purported.
These images both question the legitimacy of the image as record, as well as the problem of striving to find one’s identity in a world of fiction.
More of Evan Baden’s work can be seen here.