Rhode Islanders REVEALED in Unique Documentary about Scott Indermaur Photography Project


(photo courtesy of Scott Indermaur)

Imagine you have been handed a small, antique wooden box with no lid. You are then asked to place objects that represent the “essence of who you are” into this box. What would you put in it?

This is the question posed to photographer Scott Indermaur’s Revealed subjects, and the resulting objects are as diverse and unexpected as one might imagine: meaningful photographs, feathers, a ram’s skull, a lit candle, salad fixings, figurines, or even the family dog… It is both an artistic and a spiritual exercise, one which can require a great deal more thought and introspection than its participants initially expect. Subjects stand in black turtlenecks before a black background, with only their faces lit and the boxes they are holding. The final product is a photograph that captures much more than a pose, or a moment; it captures the human soul.

At the Jane Pickens Theatre on a night in May, local arts supporters, aficionados, and soul-searchers gathered to view the debut of a ‘revealing’ documentary film depicting the intricate process involved in creating these photographs, to hear from Indermaur speak, and to meet the filmmakers and a couple of his Revealed subjects. Small boxes with special words inside decorated the theater lobby, along with postcards showing some of the now 160 photographs.

Scott Indermaur smiles for Newport Seen

Says Indermaur on his website: “Given the opportunity to look within, many experienced a journey that took them much deeper than their initial inner self-examination, which revealed undiscovered truths about themselves. I asked my subjects to reflect upon their responses through essays, which accompany their portraits.”

When WNRI General Manager Joe O’Connor found out about Indermaur’s project, he suggested a collaboration between Revealed and the “This I Believe” series that the station hosts, modeled after a 1950’s national public radio series of the same name, which engages people in “writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives.”

Present at the screening were O’Connor and other station managers, as well as “This I Believe” host and producer Frederic Reamer and documentary director Christian De Rezendes. Also in attendance were Bill and Alison Vareika, Ron Fleming, Liz Drayton, Ross Cann, theater owner Kathy Staab, Liz Doucette, and Phyllis Fragola.


Ron Fleming & Liz Drayton

Photography subject Bill Miles was able to model his special object: an old, floppy hat. After the audience was seated in the theater, subject Janine Weisman, Editor of the Newport Mercury, took the stage to read her personal essay entitled “Your Mother”: a very funny and also highly poignant account of her conflicted yet loving relationship with her mother-in-law during the years before her death. The central image of the essay and photo is a carelessly overdressed salad which had taken Weisman hours to prepare, an incident that perfectly captured her frustrations with her mother-in-law’s insensitive ways: ways which are, in hindsight, affectionately regarded with humor, acceptance, and bittersweet nostalgia.

Indermaur’s openness and candor complemented the beautiful sincerity of his photographs, as well as his technical and artistic skills as a photographer. The words “sacred space,” “catharsis,” “intimate,” and “turning points” arose during O’Connor’s, Reamer’s, and Indermaur’s speeches, and served as verbal gateways to the tone and emphasis of the evening. The movie was like a film version of what had already been expressed through words and images, a further marriage of the “audio and visual” that Indermaur had initially sought when creating Revealed; through viewing them onscreen, one could feel a closeness to the subjects and a deeper understanding of the introspection and personal history that are essential to the process of choosing the perfect objects to represent their spiritual natures.


                                                                -- Amanda M. Grosvenor

To learn more about Revealed and about the film, visit: www.revealedproject.com
To learn more about WNRI’s “This I Believe” series, visit: www.wrni.org/this-i-believe.html

REVEALED movie poster

(courtesy of Scott Indermaur)

Alison Vareika, Nicole Purcell, Bill Vareika

Pre-film lobby

Movie musician Beth Burnett, Director Christian De Rezendes,

Host/Producer Frederic Reamer, Scott Indermaur

Susan Letendre & Susan Fox

Bill Miles models "the hat"

Phyllis Fragola & daughter Liz Doucette

Frederic Reamer &  WNRI General Manager Joe O'Connor



(photo courtesy of Scott Indermaur)


Opening screen


Joe O'Connor speaks


Frederic Reamer speaks



(photo courtesy of Scott Indermaur)


Janine Weisman reads her manifesto


Janine in front of her photograph


Scott Indermaur speaks




Box decorations and postcards


Movie poster


Postcard closeup


Outside the theater



(photo courtesy of Scott Indermaur)












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