The individual often prides themselves on their ability to lead a life that is entirely self-made. We often hope to be able to wholly be ourselves and forget what others might think about us. When people speak harshly of us, we’re taught that what others say does not matter. But when it comes down to it- that is what we are left with at the end of our life. What we were whilst living—who we were— remains only as fragments we leave with the people we surrounded ourselves with whether it is friends, family, or enemies. In the years after we die, our existence is kept alive only through the memories that remain in other people’s minds. And unless that person was open about their experiences and personal memories by relaying them or actually sharing them with others, those stories—those feelings and thoughts that once were—are lost forever. “Existence Once You’re Gone” seeks to live out this scenario of remembrance and lost memory through the idea of shared memory. I have gathered a number of photographs from varying points of time in my own life and proceeded to present them to 4 different people who know me, asking them to adopt my existence and speak in my place on what these photos were depicting- what the stories behind the photos might have been. They were encouraged to formulate the story based on what they know of me and to create the story for themselves if they weren’t sure of the reality. Many of the resulting stories are fabricated, most contain some fragments of truth, and many are actually spot on. This video project is what becomes of me as I remove my own, first-hand existence within it- now existing only through photographs and the stories/memories my friends and family preserve and create for me.

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