Emily Franklin

Originally from Metro Detroit, Emily Franklin moved to Illinois in order to pursue her MFA in Photography and is currently a college photography instructor in the Chicago area.  Her work has been exhibited nationally in a variety of shows including the 2013 Kinsey Juried Show, The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 4th Annual Contemporary Photography Competition and Exhibition, Emerge at the Midwest Center for Photography, and The 19th Juried Exhibition at The Griffin Museum of Photography.  She has presented her research and work at the Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference, Mid America College Arts Association Conference, and the MidWest Society For Photographic Educators Conference.  In addition to creating photography, she is also involved in ongoing photo theory and history research which stems from a lifelong love of books, philosophy, and history.  In her free time, she can be found scouring estate sales for vintage treasures, fabric, and books and travels whenever possible.

There are no beginnings and no endings, only a succession of moments that we perceive as the passage of time. My work explores the intangible forces that propel us from birth to death—forces that, through experience, contribute to our shifting identity. By their nature, a force can only create change if it has something to oppose.  We experience these forces as opposites, one opposing the other, but in actuality one cannot exist without the other. Some forces draw us nearer—like the desire to pursue new experiences, the kindness of another individual or desire for knowledge and understanding. Other forces repel us – guilt, the inability to be honest with oneself or a fear of repeating the past. Nonetheless, we find ourselves frequently in conflict with our past, our conscience and our personal expectations. By reflecting on these internal struggles, we realize that human nature is not dichotomous – the presence of one characteristic does not necessarily mean the exclusion of another. We exist in an intermediary state with our mortal, tangible body rooting us in a physical reality and our conscience functioning independently of those corporeal limitations.

This collection of images, entitled Disclosure, examines the continual wave of experience that contributes to the development of identity. The moments that constitute our life experience are not as ephemeral as we tend to believe. We relive these moments over and over, altering the details over time, filling in the gaps with the understanding gained with age. At any given moment, we are entangled in the constant process of change, reexamining ideals once held as absolutes and adopting new behaviors based on new understandings. In these images, the figures are in the midst of a process, of reaching toward something greater, of being caught between revealing and concealing. The use of pattern serves two functions. One is to reference a specifically female history which is reflected in textile patterns, visual codes that we associate with specific ideals, lifestyles, and time periods. Secondly, patterns function based on the concept of repetition ad infinitum. They serve to expand the photographic space beyond the borders of the image and the space of the studio. In the same way, my own experiences have been interpreted to reflect a more universal female and human experience.