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CAPTAIN DARK - museum study
DOUBLE OXEN - museum study
CRAZED - museum study
JACKAL - museum study
SIR - ship figurehead
PEACEFUL ARMS - museum study
HER - museum study
SUBMARINER - museum study
SEAPORT SIGN SHOP - street scene
CIGAR STORE FIGURE - street scene
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ON DISPLAY - Photo Essay

The items found on display at museums, historic sites or even roadside attractions document moments in our shared social history that we wish to preserve. A curator might choose to exhibit an object in order to educate, inspire or even to shock. Once an item is placed on display however, it takes on an entirely different life as the viewer detects his or her own personal meaning in what is presented. Factors such as lighting, positioning or context can make an object appear much different than intended.

In my photographic work over the last five years, it is this “scene within a scene” that I search for. This can mean isolating elements such as a mannequin’s odd expression or a wildly misplaced object like a gun in an exhibit celebrating “Peace”. The curator had one vision of what they wished to present, but very often the viewer, due to their own personal history or exhibition circumstances can walk away with a totally different reaction than what was hoped for.

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Seth Simon
Photographer New York, NY