Honorable Mention TOKYO-2017 People / Portrait_P


  • Photographer
    Joshua Sariñana

Using the circular frame I telescope back in time to reconcile distinct representations of past and present self. The images in this series are of people that I held close relationships with and spans from 2004 through 2014. These portraits were captured during struggles of early adulthood, to moments of love, wonder, and isolation. As I encroach middle age I find myself questioning the accuracy of my memories and how this ultimately impacts how I view my identity. As a neuroscientist I am keenly aware that memories are inaccurate and are at best based on a true story. In fact, whenever a memory is recalled it is changed. Brain regions become re-activated when a powerful cue of a past event is presented. Cues can be the smell of a loved ones t-shirt, a melancholy song, a picture of a childhood friend. Reactivated brain regions become susceptible to change for a period of time, allowing new information or feelings to be inserted and integrated into our past experiences or potentially peeled away from psychological access. I use the pictures in this series as a form of therapy to cognitively restructure how I view and accept the narrative of my life. Individual histories are filled with blind spots and our brains fool us into thinking that our reality is seamless. Sometimes we resist the process of connecting who we are and who we were and this is problematic because it often leads to psychopathologies like depression, anxiety, and emotional detachment. Using imagery to ignite feelings that are difficult to address may provide therapeutic relief as we grow, age, and confront the trials and tribulations that are inherent to meaningful relationships.

Dr. Joshua Sariñana's passion for photography coincided with his interest in the brain and mind. After studying neuroscience at UCLA and MIT, Sariñana switched his focus to the practice and theoretical study of photography. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including a solo exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography, and has shown at the Month of Photography Los Angeles, Photoville, and the Center for Fine Art Photography. Sariñana was named as 2017 and 2018 Critical Mass Top 200 Finalist.