The First Two Minutes

  • Photographer
    Craig Abell-Champion
  • Prize
    3rd Place / Analog / Film/Fine Art
  • Jury Top 5 Selection

    Patricia Lanza A very personal account of affects of Covid and mental health together.

  • Company/Studio
    c/o Craig A Champion
  • Date of Photograph
    May 17, 2020 to May 27, 2020
  • Technical Info
    Busch Pressman 4x5, expired Polaroid 55 PN, NEW55 PN, Art Journal, Red/Black Ink

Photographs and writings taken the first two minutes of every morning over an eleven day period (then the film ran out). I could manage the first two minutes. Then my mind began tearing my world apart. These works show a response to combat a severe, mixed C-PTS/bipolar crisis locked down in an 800 square foot apartment. One that would have normally required hospitalization were it not for COVID. I hated doing it. At the time it made me hate photography. The alternative was way worse. Decision made, never showing it, but some trusted people convinced me. IPA jurors are the first to see it.


The true writing is in the work itself. I'm bipolar with C-PTS, those pages were lived. To reproduce the handwriting here would sterilize the lens I was looking through and ruin the desperation, urgency, messiness, and emotion of the original tactile format. I urge you to please take time to please read the pages. They inform the pictures, the series, and spark questions. So often people see behaviors of a mentally ill person and have trouble understanding how a mind gets there. Suicide for example. I hate it when I hear normal people say, 'Suicide is such a monumentally selfish act.' Most likely they've never seen the world through the lens of a mentally ill person. To some of us, like myself, if our brain chemistry hits the right mix, suicide can seem as natural as a trip to the grocery store. It's why I needed Electro Convulsive Therapy for eleven years. It can also be the source of unfathomable pain and suffering. Not only to the person with the disorder but to all those who love them. This can go on for decades. Why then when a cancer patient is given a choice to take their life it's seen as compassionate? I try my best to never assume anyone sees the world through my lens. I fail miserably a lot. I try. When I saw toilet paper overflowing out of shopping carts on TV, I saw the truth! Skeletons busting down closet doors. Justifiable deviancy to feel normal. Humanity on three wheeled roller skates. A moment of authentic balance. The pandemic had the world on pause, and for a moment it aligned my greater emotional frequency to a soothing hum. Or so I thought. There was no stopping what was coming. It was me. Ironic timing is comedic gold or pain. Suddenly my worst shit I’d stuffed away in the darkest places wanted out. It was like being in an exceptionally violent car crash. I had no say. The assault just began and the lovely, soothing hum became warped noise and static.

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