The Spoken Word
Each photograph in the Spoken Word project is meant to be a visual open mike, an individual reflection of the poetry community in the Boston area. This is an exceptional community of people in part due to its diversity and the sincere respect they have for each other, all of which translates into an undeniable strength.
The Boston poetry community comes together at least three to four times a week to listen and support each other through their spoken word art, a mix of poetry and performance, and sometimes song. People are not at all hesitant to personally address topics normally avoided by society at large, saying what they mean and meaning what they say.
The project is a direct collaboration with Boston area poets and spoken word artists. My approach to this series of environmental portraits is developed together with the subject based on the poet’s work and their personal style of expression. The prints are then finished with a fragment of their work or an entire poem handwritten directly onto the photograph creating an individual testament to our collaboration.
Every time I work with a new person, I find that I’m a new person as a result. It never gets old.
Gregory Jundanian is an emerging artist focused on environmental portraits. He focuses not on communities as dictated by ancestry and family, but on self-selected communities, or chosen family. His current project, The Spoken Word, is a collection of portraits created in collaboration with local area poets and poetry slammers. His unique approach is to invite each poet into the process and work with them on inscribing their poetry onto their portrait by hand.
He is also at work on two other projects: The Dedham Project, a collection of portraits of Dedham residents, the city where he lives, and Hair and Why Not?, a project that explores a modest amount of narcissism common to all in the form of the barbershop and hairdresser experience.
Jundanian recently completed a solo show of The Spoken Word at the South End Boston Public Library, and is currently featured in a number of group shows both nationally and internationally.
Contact Greg Jundanian