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1,095 Days Later
“I made photographs of some of my favorite – and most curious-making – people in 2006. Three years later I photographed them again. This is what three years does to someone's face, relationships and front porch.” — Shannon Hunter
The photographs in Shannon Hunter's “Three More Years” collection lay out like a Fresno family tree, the interconnection of artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and students both subtle and obvious. It's a document to the scene — forget all the hipster connotations.
The show (up at Broadway Studios through May) is a follow-up to a collection Hunter took in 2006, each new photograph set next to the old one — hence, the three-years title.
These are her friends and acquaintances, people she's seen floating around at ArtHop and late-night shows and backyard barbecues for years. They are also the people she finds most interesting and curious and intimidating — and thinks others do, too.
This she says, knowing it might come off as pretentious.
And sure, they may be whip-smart and fantastic as musicians and artists and business people, but they still deal with expectations — both real and imagined — and insecurities, Hunter says.
The same expectations and insecurities sparked her original project.
“I was consumed with directionless worry,” she says. The project was an outlet for that energy, a way to find the universality of her feelings. And also to say, “what do we really know about these people?” She'd hung out at their houses on New Year's. But she'd never met their parents. She'd praised their work, but never had those three-hour conversations that mark the closest friends — though through the project she has.
She had no intention of doing it again.
Yet here we are, three years later.
“I was surprised by how much can happen in three years, in my own life,” she says.
In others', too, it seemed. People almost got married, then didn't. People moved away from Fresno, or moved back. They got jobs and lost jobs, started grad school, had babies. The constant here is change.
So it wasn't easy to track everyone down. Most had moved apartments at least. Some had moved across the country. They'd gotten different phone numbers and e-mails. But people here keep their connections, even if loosely. And there's always Facebook.
As they bought into the idea, the project gained a new life.
“The excitement I got from every single person that I called was encouraging.”
It suddenly seemed necessary to keep a running document of these people as they transitioned from 20-somethings to 30-somethings, from school to jobs to careers.
“It's not even that the photographs are important anymore. It's the content that is important.”
Documentation has always been a part of Hunter's work. She's been taking photos of her friends since she was 16 — still shoots with a Pentax K1000 — and recently entered grad school to study archives and preservation.
And she has no plan to stop.
In fact, the new plan is to follow the process, collect and catalog these changes every three years.
“For the rest of their lives.”