The Elusive Self

PhotographerSylvia de Swaan
Prize1st Place in Portraiture
Entry Description

The Elusive Self” Who am I really, I ask myself as I watch my elongated shadow play across the railroad tracks along Lake Ontario; or my shattered reflection in a window of an abandoned gas station on route 49; or when I hold an I.D. picture from my childhood refugee papers against the background of a train journey through post communist Eastern Europe; or me with a long ago lover in a penny arcade photo booth in the 1990s. My self-portraits are about intangible and fleeting moments of memory; mining the past, remembered dreams, interior spaces. They are about metaphor, poetry, vibration.

About Photographer

I’m an unaffiliated photographer who has lived and worked in Mexico, Europe and the United States. I’m a traveler, explorer and seeker. Having been displaced from my original culture at an early age I feel both out of place and at home anywhere I go. My work deals with transience, loss, memory, identity, displacement, rootedness, and the layers of history coexist in the present. I’m interested in the construction of narrative and how meaning is created and altered through juxtaposition and editing.