April 14 - October 16
Video courtesy of the Princeton University Humanities Council
Taking Pause is a documentary portrait project created by ACP Artist-in-Residence Robin Resch that asks people to reflect on what in their lives feels most essential. The project is on view in Princeton’s Dohm Alley from April-October 2021.
With what do we identify and connect most deeply? What truly matters to us, and why?
This series seeks to create telling portraits of people through what is deeply meaningful to them. To make these portraits, photographer Resch ask each participant the same simple thought-provoking question: “what is irreplaceable to you?”
Each person is documented with two distinct portraits. One of their physical self and another of their reflective self, through what they have chosen to share. It is a collaborative project as those who participate are more than passing subjects. In addition to sharing something of deep personal resonance, each participant also tells the story behind what they chose and engages others to take part in the project.
Taking Pause combines photographs and stories in a visual and verbal narrative that explores the complexities and simplicities of what we value. The intent is to document the differences and commonalities of these choices while engaging the spectrum of American diversity and disconnections.
Work on this series began in early 2018 with a core group of participants from varying backgrounds. Between November 2018 and March 2019, Resch began to expand the project’s community and network exponentially by working with people across the United States, driving solo 10,553 miles from East to West along a southerly route that naturally evolved and was largely determined by the location of the contributors. Resch’s goal for this Princeton manifestation of her Taking Pause project is to capture as broad a spectrum of the local community as possible.
“Our lives are so diverse and we’ve all been impacted in similar and yet differing ways,” says Resch. “To some degree, it has been equalizing. In other ways it’s been polarizing. How has it impacted us? Have our values changed? Would we answer the question ‘what is irreplaceable to you?’ differently today than a year ago?” Her hope is to sow seeds for a conversation that may help heal in such a challenging time and that as a collaborative project, Taking Pause may help rebuild trust by addressing our fears and fostering communication and reflection.
Resch’s work with each participant culminates in two photos and their brief written text, creating a finished portrait set. Five portrait sets will be printed on vinyl banners and be displayed in Dohm Alley, located near the corner of Nassau and Witherspoon streets, from April to October 2021, as a public art display, free and open to the public.
Robin Resch is a Princeton-based photographer who lived in Italy, France, and the Netherlands until 1998. She left Europe to pursue her Master’s in Architecture at Princeton University, which she combined with advanced photographic studies with Emmet Gowin and Andrew Moore. Her architectural training informs her documentary photographic work as she is particularly interested in making images that are about and their personal environments as well as the impact on our collective environments. Her landscape photography, which is more abstract, seeks to explore our human experience of the natural environment.
Resch’s work has been exhibited at Princeton University’s Lucas Gallery, the Pringle Gallery in Philadelphia, Design Within Reach, Princeton Project Space, the Arts Council of Princeton, and the Nassau Club. Her photographs have been published in the New York Times, the Witte de With Cahiers, the Rotterdams Dagblad, Italian GQ, and Princeton Magazine. Robin has maintained an active portrait studio since 2003. In 2012, she was honored to be the exclusive campaign photographer for the Princeton fundraising event with First Lady Michelle Obama.