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Jack Sirianni

The Dark Place

This photo series was a re-creation of my challenges with confronting my addiction to marijuana and the challenges I faced with getting sober. My experience with talking about addiction is that everyone is always happy with the end result, but what’s not discussed are the hardships that come with the process of getting clean. I wanted to give people an insight into my emotions during the process through expressive and staged photos.

Many photographers have had an influence on this series, with the main source of inspiration coming from photographer, Graham Macindoe. During his time using heroin, Macindoe was a working photographer and actively took pictures of himself and the people he used heroin with, which he showcased in his Coming Clean exhibition. These photos are uncompromising and show the rawness of what addiction really is. This influenced the authenticity of what I wanted to show in my photos.

For my photographic series I found that my images lacked a slight bit of cohesiveness, as well as a timeline connecting the story, but found the way Duane Michals used text with his images in the exhibit A Story About A Story. He did this very well, and I saw that this approach would help tie my photo series together effectively.

I decided I wanted myself to always be wearing red in the images because of a reading from Judith Grisel’s book Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction, where she describes marijuana as being like a bucket of red paint, where it enhances the users experience with everything. As well as weed painting everything red, it is also like you are constantly wearing a blanket, and coincidentally I was always wearing a blanket-sweatshirt when I was using marijuana. I also used a fog machine to capture how much of a haze my life was while using marijuana, literally and figuratively.

About the Photographer:

Jack Sirianni was born and raised in Saratoga Springs NY on November 9th, 1998. He attended Schuylerville High School and then moved from college to college for a little over a year and then landed at SUNY Adirondack where he found his passion in photography. Now Jack has been accepted into the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City and will be majoring in the photo and film BFA program.

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