Oxford Dictionaries deemed “post-truth” as the international word of the year. “Post-truth” is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Throughout the duration of the presidential campaign in which alternate realities flowed freely, far and wide, hundreds of fact checks were published about statements from both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. When words are meaningless, how can a photographer properly capture this moment in history? How to effectively convey the dizzy American psyche?
Mark Abramson’s “Two Face” series attempted to convey this precise feeling. Abramson is a NYC based freelance visual journalist who frequently shoots for The Wall Street Journal. Upon receiving assignments to cover the campaign trail, he challenged himself not to merely document, but to thoroughly capture the candidates’ campaign themes. “It was so chaotic when I started and it all felt like it was blending in my head,” he said. His response was to create a curious visual amalgam consisting of double exposures.
“For me, applying this technique made me feel like I could actually say what I was feeling, which was this shivery feeling.” – Mark Abramson
Abramson’s photos have an apocalyptic quality, reflecting this psychopathic election season. One photo shows savior Trump over a woman being baptized, another portrays Jeb Bush disappearing into the masses, and another exhibits a black man being surveilled by heavily armed police. The viewer can feel the signal to Soviet propaganda posters, which is no coincidence as Abramson is Russian-American. “Two Face” cuts through the half truths and false narratives, it demonstrates the raw emotions of 2016, the year of post-truth.
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