Friday, December 25, 2009

Paper Mention!


So my friend Patrick just alerted me to a mention of one of my pieces in the Minnesota Daily wayyyy back in November. Nice! First paper mention! Of course they got my name wrong, but no biggie I guess.

The article mentions my piece for the MCAD all-school-project (Time/Space themed) which documented my drive through Wisconsin with pictures of clouds, excerpts from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the time the pictures were taken, and which city I was nearest when I took it. I had to find the quotes and cities by calculating times between each picture and finding the spots on the tracks, and by playing around with google maps until I found the nearest major city based on the time I left and the times the pictures were taken. It actually took a bit of effort.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the article. I'll try and get the image up soon. It's not on my computer anymore, so I'll have to find it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"All Good Evidence is in Black and White"

I'm working on a new series over break. It's more conceptually based than technically based. It's also my first autobiographical series, which is kind of scary and kind of exhilarating at the same time. It also makes total sense, I mean if there's one thing I know anything about, it's me. Maybe?

Anyway, I had the idea for this series the other day when I was cleaning out one of my email inboxes and found a really nasty hurtful letter from an ex boyfriend. So I started thinking about the truly horrible things that have been said or written to me, and I came up with 5 instance that have really stuck with me throughout the years and have played a part in the shaping (or deconstruction) of my self confidence and my confidence in friendships.

At first I wasn't sure how I wanted to incorporate them photographically, but I talked it over with my aunt at Denny's last night over divine pure-sugar cappuccinos with free refills, and we decided to take a more documentary-style police evidence approach, but I want it to have a very obvious amateur and obsessive feel, and include some espionage elements. As a friend of mine put it, like Harriet the Spy.

Influences on the final form and evolution of this project are primarily Peter Hunner's marvelous and beautiful self portrait series, Annette Messager's series of appropriated wedding announcements with the brides names replaced with her own, and Sophie Calle's L'hôtel.

Looking more at Sophie Calle as I write this, I found an article about her fairly recent project "Take Care of Yourself," where she had 107 different professional women from different fields read and analyze a break up email from an ex boyfriend. I think this is almost a direct descendant of that, even though only 2 of the 5 are ex boyfriends. Cool. I had no idea this project even existed.

My two hiccups on this project are:

- it has been misinterpreted by a few people as vengeful or pouty when explained to them. I don't think those will come across in the final project and I certainly hope they don't. This project is about documenting and sharing life-shaping experiences that have stuck with me for years and I'm sure will stay for a long time. This project is a way to get the poison out of my soul. It is not about ruining lives or wanting pity or anything.

- in my haste to get out of town at a decent hour in the morning last week, I left my camera in my living room in Minneapolis. Awesome. Not. I should be able to get by with my point-and-shoot. After all, I wanted an amateur look to the actual evidence I'm going to be photographing nicely later.

Anyway, I'm very excited for this project despite the misinterpretations. I was hoping to finish it before break is over, but I'm getting back a week early, so I can still finish it in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Hello all,

So this is my first entry. I decided to keep a blog about my photography and other photography, because it seems like everyone is doing it.

My name is Meg Dolan and I am a first semester senior at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I shoot mainly with a Nikon D60, sometimes a Hasselblad Digital Leaf Back, 4x5 (black and white), or whatever is handy. My work focuses a lot on mythology and literature (mostly feminine components), memory and loss, and segmentation. Secretly, (my "secret photo perversions", as a friend of mine would say) I enjoy taking pictures of weird license plates, my friends sleeping, and clouds. My website is, but I haven't updated it since last winter, and I have so much to put up. That's my goal for the next two weeks.

Well, it's winter break now, so I might be telling you about some photo ideas I've been developing for next semester. Or I might just talk about other people's photography. Actually, I'm pretty art-ed out after finals. I took 4 photo studios last semester, which means 4 final projects that I poured my whole life into. I'm very proud of them, but they were incredibly time-consuming. And I taught myself how to bookbind on youtube and made them into hardcover books because I'm terrible at archiving. Every paper in my possession will inevitably come out wrinkled in the end.

Career wise, I'm not really sure what I want to do yet. Maybe work for a corporation (I hear Target corporate really likes MCAD grads) and try and get gallery representation on the side. I don't know. I thought I wanted to be a wedding photographer but I guess I'm past that now.

Anyway I just dropped my roommate off at the airport obscenely early, so I should probably sleep a little more before trying to function today. We're having family Christmas dinner. My fabulous and world-famous puppeteer aunt Clare is in town, so it's nice to see her as well.

I'll leave you with this photo series I love:

This is Evidence by Angela Strassheim (Once you get to the website, click on the picture to see more). Strassheim worked as a forensic photographer and with this series she explores the memories of places that have seen violence, using BlueStar (a material that finds residual proteins) to uncover the secret lives of places where homicides have been committed. I think it's truly beautiful and very eerie. Page 4 is my personal favorite.

Have a great (or I hope you had a great) Solstice/Kwanzaa/Christmas/Hanukkah!