This project intrigues me. Marna so deftly blends the old images with the new that I find myself trying to puzzle it all out, much as she must do as a result of the amnesia. What is real, what is constructed, and what part does my own nostalgia play in this narrative?


Closer to Home by Marna Bell

Closer To Home is a collection of photographs taken between 1970 and the present at local fairs and festivals in New York. The focus of this series is a longing for an idealized time when life seemed simpler. Childhood amnesia left me with vague, disjointed memories of my youth. In the 1970s, I started taking photographs of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. In this microcosmic realm, everything seems perfect, unlike today’s world with its adult fears and consequences.

Several years ago, I found these negatives in my attic in plastic sleeves that were badly decomposed by time. I have revived some of these early images and integrated them with the photographs I have taken over the years in different locations. The more recent images have offered me a bridge to the kinetic energy of Coney Island. In this fantasy world of the past, excitement and escape is guaranteed, just as it was when I was riding on the merry-go- round with my father trying to catch the brass ring.