KEITH YAHRLING

Keith Yahrling is a photographer currently living and working in Providence, Rhode Island. He is a 2013 MFA in photography candidate at the Rhode Island School of Design and has plans to relocate to his native city, Philadelphia, this July. He has recently exhibited work at the Siskind Gallery at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, the Sol Koffler Gallery in Providence, Rhode Island and is scheduled to participate in a group show at Clampart in Chelsea this July. He was recently awarded a Graduate Studies Grant that will allow him to pursue his current body of work, For the Revolution, as well as a National Conference Student Award from the Society for Photographic Education and the T.C. Colley Scholarship for Excellence in Photography.

Battle of Red Bank, National Park, New Jersey, March 27, 2013

Battle of Red Bank, National Park, New Jersey, March 27, 2013

For the Revolution

The boundary of the United States of America’s original thirteen colonies encompasses roughly the country’s entire eastern coast—from Maine to Georgia and from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains. It is within this historically significant boundary that the American Revolution was staged and is the area of concentration for my project, For the Revolution. During this significant moment, the great majority of people were awakening to their natural born rights of liberty and freedom. However, these ideals are complex and their definitions depend on the circumstances of the individual. Because of this, the history of our democracy has been a contest between different individuals striving to define their freedom. My photographs look to illustrate the ways that Americans currently define their individual notions of freedom and the impact their decisions have on the contemporary landscape.

Tallulah River Gorge, Tallulah Falls, Georgia, June 21, 2012

Tallulah River Gorge, Tallulah Falls, Georgia, June 21, 2012

Bob & Theresa, Saratoga Springs, New York, October 17, 2012

Bob & Theresa, Saratoga Springs, New York, October 17, 2012

I was raised in the small town of National Park, which sits along the banks of the Delaware River in Southern New Jersey and is contained within the boundaries of the colonies. National Park’s only notable landmark, the Red Bank Battlefield Park, still contains the trenches of Fort Mercer. A bloody battle was waged here during the Revolution and as a child, I frequently explored these grounds. Similar to the landscapes that I explore, my father’s history and memory have been profoundly shaped by war. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, the experience has deeply penetrated his psyche, but he rarely speaks about his tour of duty. My father’s inability to speak of his experience in Vietnam and my childhood explorations of Fort Mercer have left me with many questions about how freedom is defined. From those unanswered questions, an intense curiosity has grown to understand how ideals of freedom function in our American landscape. My pilgrimage through America’s original thirteen colonies represents both a desire to understand the democratic roots of my country and my own personal heritage, because the two are inseparable from each other.

Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 17, 2012

Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 17, 2012

Sneak, Will, Avery, Sergio & Kevin, Fall River, Massachusetts, March 4, 2012

Sneak, Will, Avery, Sergio & Kevin, Fall River, Massachusetts, March 4, 2012

Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, North Stonington, Connecticut, March 2, 2013

Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, North Stonington, Connecticut, March 2, 2013

Erica, Barrington, Rhode Island, May 5, 2012

Erica, Barrington, Rhode Island, May 5, 2012

Kings Mountain, North Carolina, July 17, 2012

Kings Mountain, North Carolina, July 17, 2012

Carowinds Amusement Park, Fort Mill, South Carolina, July 19, 2012

Carowinds Amusement Park, Fort Mill, South Carolina, July 19, 2012

Battle of Brier Creek, Sylvania, Georgia, June 24, 2012

Battle of Brier Creek, Sylvania, Georgia, June 24, 2012

Bayville, New Jersey, November 11, 2012

Bayville, New Jersey, November 11, 2012

Battle of Fort Washington, Fort Tryon, New York, New York, January 16, 2013

Battle of Fort Washington, Fort Tryon, New York, New York, January 16, 2013

Nathan, Kyle, & Duarte, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, March 18, 2012

Nathan, Kyle, & Duarte, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, March 18, 2012

Huntington Beach, James River, Newport News, Virginia, July 23, 2012

Huntington Beach, James River, Newport News, Virginia, July 23, 2012

Saint Michael's Cemetery, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, January 12, 2013

Saint Michael’s Cemetery, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, January 12, 2013

To see more of Keith’s work, please visit his website.



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