AARP: Alzheimer’s Photography Project: Gregg Segal

I came across the work of Gregg Segal in a news article. In his series of work he met with the family members of the Alzheimer’s patient and chose an old slide that seemed to suit the person’s character in the past. This image was then projected onto the wall where the Alzheimer’s patient was positioned for the photograph. The projection acts like a portal and an insight so the viewer can see who they once were. One could argue that we could do that in general because we all physically change as we age. 

Yet, the nature of Alzheimer’s means that memory is lost as proteins kill nerves in the brain. The sitters are at different stages of dementia: some died weeks after their photograph was taken. One woman Segal said, believed she was at a much earlier point in her life, forgetting the years in between. The images are nostalgic in one way, but at the same time, there is a morbid tone that there are memories lost in between the projection and the present in the frame. The morbid fact is that all of the patients will suffer the same sufferable demise.

I chose to include this series of work in my presentation because it was a different way of presenting degenerative disease in a way that also celebrates life as well as touching on the horrors of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, in the ageing population. 

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