On This Day
ON THIS DAY
Photographer Captures Mass Shootings in Unique Way
By Katy DeZellar as told to Nadia Giordana
Nadia: These images, and so many others on your web page
moved me more than expected. What is the first thing you would say about this project?
Katy: Frustratingly, this is a work in progress.
Nadia: Tell me about what you’re doing and why?
Katy: Over the course of my lifetime, mass-shootings have filled the news and have increasingly become a fear in so many people’s lives, including mine. On This Day is comprised of photographs which bear witness to the locations where these acts of violence occurred since the date of my birth, December 3, 1993. Within these photographs, I juxtapose both objective and surreal elements to examine a space that no longer shows the visible signs of the senseless murders that occurred, but whose auras are forever darkened. Soon thereafter (years or even months later), the imprinted signs of distress on the environment are seemingly absent, with bloodstains cleaned, broken glass replaced, and crime scene tape taken down. The physical traces of an event ever happening are often erased, leaving only the latent memory. The world moves on, but those who were affected still hold onto their pain, just as the trauma itself is absorbed by the site.
Nadia: With so much from which to choose, how do you decide which events to record?
Katy: With the use of strict criteria, I narrow down the number of locations that I photograph, exerting control over an event that was uncontrollable to the victims at the time. Through an unbiased lens, I form my initial composition at the various sites that I visit across the nation. Working with the space and available light as it is upon my first encounter, I take an objective view while bringing in an added physical element (blue and yellow markers) that reflects the number of people who endured bodily harm. My photographs call to mind those affected in short
moments of terror, even though the world at large has likely forgotten them.
Nadia: This is an ambitious project. What do you hope to accomplish?
Katy: Despite suffering from the collective exposure of fear generated by mass-shootings, I do not want to become numb to these horrific and seemingly endless killings. Society at large may not remember the majority of events, but I want to remember and raise awareness to an ongoing crisis that affects us all.
Nadia: Thank you Katy. Readers, there is more to see along with some of Katy’s other projects at KatyDezellar.com.
Katy DeZellar is a photographer based out of Shoreview, Minnesota. Her work has been featured in a number of exhibitions in the United States. She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. She has been involved in public art projects, collaborations, and multiple clubs on campus. She also has a passion for motion pictures and film.