Michelle Bablitz

Michelle Bablitz



artist statement

Through photographing, I have met a lot of individuals with a plethora of family albums. I have watched strangers excitedly pull out books, discover old show boxes, reach to the very back of closets and dig under beds to proudly show me a piece of their family archive. Their faces light up when they find that missing photograph of a grandmother’s wedding day or someone’s great uncle after returned home from the war. I loved watching these people, such new acquaintances to me, eager to share such intimate parts of their history with someone they barely knew. Their treasured photos acted like an icebreaker, or an equalizer.

Although this ritual of sharing the family album did act as an icebreaker, we were not participating in a shared or common practice for me. I am enthralled by this act of sharing images because it is not a process my family engages in. All of my family’s albums are stored in two moving boxes in the crawl space in our basement. We do not go through those images together or talk about their existence. They hold a family history of an unacknowledged time of lies, hardship, infidelity, forged smiles and inner unhappiness. Wanting to explore that history and those albums, I snuck the two moving boxes of photographs into my car late one night, without the knowledge of my family, and drove them 761 miles away to my new home in Rochester, New York. The images that I have made indulge my need to better understand my family albums.


what do you love about the MFA program at RIT?

The graduate photography program at Rochester Institute of Technology is a perfect fit for me. There are limitless opportunities to gain creative insight from faculty, exhibit work, and teach others. RIT has the facilities to create any kind of work, and knowledgeable faculty that are always ready to assist students with inquisitive minds.

anticipated graduation date: May 2014