If, as it is often said, you can’t win, it is because, when you do, you have so much to lose. To put it gloomily, winning could be called the mark of Abel.
– Diane Arbus, 1962
I am photographing groups of young people interacting with one another. I am interested in how personalities emerge and retreat, dependent on who is present. Some of the youths dominate, while others tend to withdraw into the background of the composition. Relationships begin to reveal themselves.
I watch the subjects align themselves with one another. A natural hierarchy evolves, as subjects become used to the process. I let them formulate some kind of configuration, and then add direction to make the image more relevant for me. Who emerges as the focus, and who submits is part of the potential these photographs hold. I watch and contribute to the arrangement until something happens that I recognize.
Lydia Panas ( Kutztown , PA ) earned her MFA in Photography jointly from New York University / International Center of Photography program and her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, in addition to studying at the Art Institute of Boston and participating in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. She has exhibited her work at the Flatfiles Gallery in Chicago, White Columns in NYC, the University of Arts in Philadelphia, Silvermine Guild Galleries in New Canaan, and the Alternative Museum in NYC. Panas’ work has been reviewed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Village Voice, and Morning Call, in addition to being published in Shots Magazine. She has taught and lectured at venues including the Maine Photographic Workshops, Kutztown University, the Guggenheim Museum, and more. In 2004 she was an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre in Canada.