Eli Durst

Eli Durst
2016 Annual Juried Competition
Honorable Mention

While these photographs were made in many different community spaces around Connecticut, I see them as forming one, unified symbolic space in which the individuals depicted come together in hopes of finding something greater than themselves. The people in the images are taking part in a variety of activities including New Age spiritual classes, Boy Scout meetings, and corporate team building exercises, among others. I don’t intend for these photographs to be read as objective documents of these activities but rather as pieces of a world unto itself. Within this world, people congregate in search of meaning, purpose, and affirmation in a universe that often seems devoid of these things. These images are about looking for faith—in the broadest definition of the word—in the face of inevitable doubt. 

Eli Durst was born and raised in Austin, TX. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2011, he worked at the renowned fine art printing studio Griffin Editions in Brooklyn while also serving as an assistant to street photographer Joel Meyerowitz. Eli received an MFA in photography from the Yale School of Art and is the winner of the 2016 Aperture Portfolio Prize and recipient of the Richard Benson Prize for Excellence in Photography.

Artist’s website: www.elidurst.com