S.E. Mandle's project Reconciliation explores the history and psychology of religious repentance. Photographed solely in confessional booths, the images from Reconcilation delve into infinite personal histories which are at once unknowable, yet universally understandable. Whether in a religious context or not, the admission of sin, or wrongdoing, is an unequivocal part human existence. In some way or another, we all seek forgiveness from the people we've hurt and for the actions that have been less than admirable. This human universality prominent in Mandle's work gives the images a deep emotional and psychological resonance. In addition to being a wonderful photographer, Mandle is also a truly eloquent writer.
"Confessionals hold and absorb the penitent's voice and breath. While photographing these spaces I thought about the individuals who confessed there- repeating identical prayers, revealing individual confessions, receiving absolution, leaving a trace of their self in the architecture of the confessional. Through these layers of human presence each person sought grace and repentance."
Mandle's thesis exhibition is currently on view at Mass Art. Everyone in the Boston area should do their best not to miss it.
Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery
621 Huntington Ave.
M-F 10am-6pm, Sat. 11am-5pm
All Images © S.E. Mandle