Brandon Jessip

Helmet Self

Helmet Self is a photographic work that utilizes absurdity and deadpan in the performance of simple activities to explore my anxieties. I photograph myself in these day-to-day settings often while completing mundane tasks such as sleeping or eating. The red motorcycle helmet that I wear in every photograph is an object of safety, but the fact that I am always wearing it changes it into an object that hinders daily life. Wearing this helmet while going about the day brings a level of incongruity to the conversation.

I most certainly have many anxieties within my life. We’ve gone through a pandemic. I worry about my finances and my future. I also have some anxieties about how I view myself, specifically the self-consciousness I feel about my face when I look at pictures of myself. I have a disdain for the way I look. The helmet affords me a pass; it helps repress those feelings. The self concealment allows me to view myself without wholly facing myself. It also creates another identity and the anonymity the helmet provides enables the viewer to imagine a character, to create a narrative, and maybe even place themselves in the role of the person wearing the helmet — a character, a self.