Jaci Berkopec


I yearn for the sensation that is coupled with adventure, experience and the conundrum of change. There is an unknown phenomenon discovered as one moves onward through a journey. Whether that journey is physical or mental, there is a constant feeling of advancement and metamorphosis. Throughout my photographic career, I have danced along the line of termination and metempsychosis in order to create a paradox for viewers. My photographs are pervaded with macabre tension, delicate mystery and the enigma of reality. There is a sense of disquiet; as if something is about to happen or perhaps something already has; this conclusion is typically left up to the viewer.

I am most inspired by different spaces and homes. I believe, as an artist, it is ever more imperative that we be able to explore the world as our workplace and not be confined to a single city or a single home. It is a rare feeling to be able to enter a room and, with every bone in your body, feel the stories that the floor boards carry and the wallpaper hums. It is within these spaces that I choose to photograph. I become inspired by the unknown stories that are being told or were once told within the space and then I create my own. Most often the stories I imagine and photograph are a play off the true story of the space. A majority of my photographs are sequential because I feel as though one photograph cannot tell the entire story I have come up with. I chose to photograph stories because there are so many tales I am too scared to experience, so I imagine them instead. I use my photographs as a vehicle to animate my stories and make them come to life. This is why I normally use myself as the main subject, because the story is one that I want to know and experience.

My femme fatale series (Execution of Sin) is an ongoing project I have been working on since 2009. It delves from my uncanny obsession with the female body, bone structure, and death. I find that all of my series are a reflection on internal feelings, obsession and imagination.

This spring I have been granted the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France. Being in a different country will allow my mind to expand and evolve with new experiences, ideas, and adventures. Every corner yields a path unknown to my camera, and I will take these paths as opportunities to imagine create and explore new ideas. The photos taken and the shattered pieces of the unknown will be commensurate with the ground I have to discover in Europe. I plan to find and capture the deep connection between the mystery of the unknown and the suspenseful intricacies of a foreign country. A new country will also allow me to begin looking at the world differently and finding new realms of inspiration to start new series and new projects. A country different than my own will bring alive my work and animate my drive to create. I want to be an artist that can look at the world in a different light; a global light where there is always more to be seen. I need this time away in another world to discover my purpose as an artist, confirm my direction as a photographer, and fossilize my belief in the discoverable unknown. A semester abroad will feed this maturation to fruition.

The camera sees what the eye normally does not; whether it is something as simple as a specific color, or the breathless moment a soul loses buoyancy. I am intrigued by the moments before a body goes limp or a leaf gently floats to the ground. I photograph these moments of suspenseful mystery just before they lose their passion. This world is waiting for me to capture the unseen and unknown moments I one day hope to capture for the world; I am willing and more than prepared to find these moments.