Paige Labuda is a photographer whose work centers on identity and the latent power of images. Raised in California and now studying in New York, she makes work from an existence in flux. Her images retain the ephemeral feelings of youth, as she searches for the moments of her own life that possess the capacity of larger connections. Her photographs are observational and her presence in them is subtle. The work maintains a reverence for soft sunlight and its interactions with her world. Ranging from explorations of her family and upbringing to dreamlike fashion work, her images are intrinsically tied to the present. Influenced by her contemporaries as they capture the complexities of being young in this world, her work is the product of constant self-reflection and consideration of the intricacies of life at this very moment.
A Familiar Place
I was raised in joint custody. These are images of two houses, – one my father’s house and one my mother’s. The differences between houses are striking – one quiet, filled with sun, and one chaotic. Both are places I have not lived for more than a month, both are not home. The intention of this project was to explore these notions of home – to question the definitions. Teju Cole, in “Object Lesson” for the New York Times described the effect of looking at photographs of objects, of places and stillness – “the charge they bring about … in the core of the sympathetic self”. It is this idea of the sympathetic self that I hope to affect, to somehow connect my own personal experience with the larger human one – of living and connection and a loss of roots, of ties to places – and places without ties.
This is a piece of writing meant to accompany the work:
Home is not a solid – or at least it never has been for me.
A house with steel beams and a concrete foundation and fiberglass in the walls is a solid – but this does not make it home.
Every Friday afternoon, we would switch houses – me with a big suitcase in a minivan off to a different parent’s home for the week.
My mother stayed in the same place until this summer – that one was home when we were there.
My father switched often – for women, for money, for remodels.
Too many houses and none were really home.
Now my brothers and I live in dorms or in basements – new cities, somehow becoming home.
There are always beds and dressers and water cups and windows, always sunlight and family.
And now there is construction and change and a new house with a new bed and a new dresser, and an old house half new – stuck.
To view more of Paige Labuda’s work please visit her website.