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Esther Fleischer: Emotions Through Zoe Griffiths

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Photo: Esther Fleischer

 

Photography, Text and Video Interview by Esther Fleischer, Copyright 2018

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EMOTIONS THROUGH ZOE GRIFFITHS

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What are emotions really? Are they completely different mindsets, blind to the existence of the others? Or do they interact and have some similarities?

Here they share the same space and are aware of the presence of the other emotions. On a black background and with the same model wearing all black, most of the standard factors distinguishing the emotions are removed. The facial expressions and body language, lighting and color in shooting and editing, and position in relation to the other emotions show how differently each of them are experienced.

Four emotions, all taking up a separate space in your head.

Happiness is the feeling after good day, a smile, a laugh. A funny joke, a nice memory. Small bits permeate each day, but that doesn’t make it a majority of time. So it takes up its full corner, trying to grow and take up even more space. Yet despair presses against it, confining its presence. Simply smiling, happiness is not a particularly complex emotion. It doesn’t have the same depth or ability to look outside of itself as love does.

On the bottom right sits sadness, lacking energy to get up or spread throughout the picture. It also is not a long-term emotion, popping up in short moments. It is temporary disappointment, feeling inadequate, uncertainty as to why it isn’t happiness when nothing is particularly wrong in the world. It can only look up and see happiness for all that it cannot be. It wishes that it could just become happy, just to forget the present and go to a better future or a better past or a memory or a dream yet it cannot. So it sits alone, and has wedged itself between love and despair and does not try to grow in the space. Sadness too lacks depth, and is alone with happiness in that it is focused on the emotion itself, preventing concentration on the world around them.

Curled up is despair, unaware of even its own identity. Despair is a loss of someone important to you, a disintegrated future, the consequence of a pivotal moment that removes all possibility of being the same person that you were before. It has no thought of who it is, the presence of the other emotions, or the possibility of becoming anything else. There is no hope in despair, and no color to break the monotony of its existence.

Then there is love. Love, the only emotion with true depth. The only feeling that is neither looking at the other emotions nor stuck in its own feelings, with the ability to really look out into the world. The truly undefinable, indescribable emotion that only those experiencing it can understand. Perhaps love could be considered oversaturated with feeling, perhaps then it is unsustainable.

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Portrait of Esther Fleischer by Fangyi Fan, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Esther Fleischer by Fangyi Fan, Copyright 2018

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About The Author: Esther Fleischer is a Freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021.

This entry was posted in Art, Photography, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn, Women.

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