Chronicles of the Ordinary - Victoria Maidhof

Chronicles of the Ordinary (under construction)

Artist Statement:

I have been fascinated by unconventional people for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a middle class suburban neighborhood where my family stood out as eccentrics. We were the only secular family on the block, and my parents encouraged us to run wild, play hard, and reject authority. My father told captivating stories about his unusual upbringing, many of which revolved around his mother, a paranoid schizophrenic, and his father, a merchant marine with severe PTSD. As I got older, I became curious about other people that lived unorthodox lifestyles. Having seen the work of Mary Ellen Mark and Diane Arbus, I knew that the camera could grant permission into the lives of complete strangers.In 2003, at the age of 18, I left my parents home armed with a rented mamiya 7 II determined to meet somebody worth photographing. I was particularly shy at this age and had been suffering from severe depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder for several years. This brutal mixture bred an unrelenting loneliness, which drove the desire to meet interesting, exciting, and original people to empathize with. Chronicles of the Ordinary tells the stories of my connections with several remarkable people who have invited me into their private lives to talk, laugh, cry, observe, and photograph. I fostered long term friendships with many of my subjects, and have continued to go back and visit them over the years. Loneliness and the yearning to make intimate connections with other human beings is a universal affliction. For this project, I combine portraits with text to create a multidimensional viewing experience to emphasize this concept and to evoke an emotional response in the viewer.

-V. Maidhof

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