JULY 2008 FEATURED ARTIST || Alan Arsenault

Alan Arsenault (Gardner, MA) is a junior photography major in the New England Institute of Art's new BS program in Digital Photography. Before coming to NEIA in Brookline, MA, Arsenault pursued photojournalism. Inspired by AI professors Rachelle Dermer and Thomas Gustainis, Arsenault added a new conceptual bent to his studies and image making. In all of his series presented here, he constructs sets to photograph using simple materials, often with humorous undertones.

Arsenault's “Edgerton Follies” series was most recently featured on our 2008 PRC Student Exhibition postcard and poster. In “Edgerton Follies,” Arsenault takes for inspiration Edgerton's famous high speed photographs, but with a Rube Goldberg twist. Upon further inspection, his bullet is hanging from a string, the smoke is actually cotton, and the milk drop a shoddily cut out piece of paper. In another constructed series, “Community Journalism,” Arsenault takes aim at news photographs. Playing off the low res aesthetic, these sets are photographed using a camera phone and the resulting images are printed on newsprint paper. From the burning remnants of a plane crash to blurry footage of Bigfoot, Arsenault cleaverly comments upon common narrative and visual conventions in news stories and images.

  - Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator


Artist Statement

My Work and the Kodak Moment

A Kodak Moment is a novel idea. Throughout my life I can remember hearing the phrase countless times, uttered as both an advertisement and in everyday conversation. The phrase itself is quite poetic. However, I always find myself stammering over the word “moment.”

A moment is by definition an indefinitely short period of time. After all, you just point the camera and shoot, right?  Anything so fleeting must not take any skill.  The moment takes the photographer out of the equation, is recorded by film absolutely, accurately, and must therefore be a truthful representation of it. However, as we all know, the moment or more importantly, the photograph, isn't quite as air tight as it seems.  By building environments in which I photograph, I exaggerate the flaws within my own photographs and hopefully comment upon photography itself.  I believe photographers are essentially puppeteers anyway.

- Alan Arsenault

Click on each image for larger version and caption.

Edgerton Follies




Community Journalism



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