* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Daniel Alexander Smith completed a BFA in Photography at The University of Georgia. He is currently an MFA Fellow at Indiana University.
His work explores the ways in which history and civilization annihilate individual identity. It has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Parade at The Carnegie, Cincinnati; Master Pieces 7 at Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; Atlanta Celebrates Photography’s 2012 Ones2Watch; (Un)Clothed at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins; La Mostra at Palazzo Casali Gallery in Cortona, Italy; The Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery in Ogden, UT; and CURO’s Costa Rica Symposium in Monteverde, Costa Rica. His research has received grant funding from The University of Georgia’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Ideas for Creative Exploration.
Daniel describes his work by saying, “A Few More Last Judgments As a southern Catholic, guilt and awe surrounding the notion of divine judgment feel almost imbedded in my genes. Yet I am not especially concerned with the tallying of sins and good deeds or clever punishments devised by medieval minds. It is the intersection of determinism and the will in these pictures that interests at me—a contradiction between choice and inevitability. In my images, there is no God or Devil. There are only people. This tension between the individual and the collective pervades my work in the repetition of bodies and the fragmentation of gridded compositions. My aim is not to inflict another religious judgment. Without moral scaffolding, damnation and sainthood dissolve in the face of a collective condition: the individual’s conflict with a larger determined existence. The last judgments are those of individuals, not God, and the outcome of their choices is not my concern. In a culture which collects predictive information on a massive scale, there is little room for unforeseen decision making. When our actions are knowable ahead of time, we lose our agency. The result isn’t a four headed beast or fire in the sky. There is a silent apocalypse. We quietly make final judgments as our choices cease to be choices.”