Sylvia de Swaan

Art & Documentary Photographer
Where Will You Spend Eternity
Location: Utica, New York
Nationality: Romanian Born/Now Ukraine
Biography: I’m a Romanian born art and documentary photographer who works on several long-term projects concurrently, often informed or influenced by world events. Thus my longest running work, "Return," currently titled, "Narratives:... read on
Public Story
Where Will You Spend Eternity
Credits: sylvia de swaan
Date of Work: 12/31/69 - Ongoing
Updated: 07/10/18

“Where Will You Spend Eternity,” about how small cities and towns struggle to adapt to our fast changing world

Roaming around Utica’s crumbling old factory buildings and rubble strewn railroad tracks often brings to mind the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, about hubris and the decline of civilizations….which ends with the lines

“…..nothing beside remains.....Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
the lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Utica is a former industrial town that is ever seeking to renew its commercial base and identity. Recent waves of immigration from the war zones in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa are helping stem the steady population decline - and a “rust to green” project initiated through Cornell University hopes to help promote better integration of urban, ecological and community systems and needs.”-

“Where Will You Spend Eternity” is about the complexity, drama and poetry of this time and place with a touch of irony and compassion.


By Sylvia de Swaan —


Return:The Landscape of Memory

By Sylvia de Swaan / Eastern Europe/Ukraine/Czernowitz/Chernivtsi — “Return/The Landscape of Memory” is about travel, individual and collective memory and identity; return to..

The Snows of Yesteryear

By Sylvia de Swaan / Utica, NY and environs — I borrowed the title for this series, from "The Snows of Yesteryear," the book by Gregor von..

November in Vail, Colorado 2016 ©Sylvia DeSwaan

By Sylvia de Swaan — Each year, my son & son-in-law invite me to spend Thanksgiving with them in thier gorgeous house in..

The Mexico Years

By Sylvia de Swaan / Mexico — I lived in Mexico at a formative stage of my life (1962-73) – as a young painter in quest of adventure, a..

The Knoxboro - Utica - Years

By Sylvia de Swaan —        In 1976 I moved with my son and second husband to Upstate New York, a rambling..

El Perro y La Sombra, Ozuluama, Veracruz 2010 ©Sylvia de Swaan

By Sylvia de Swaan


By Sylvia de Swaan — “The Ticking Clock” “The Ticking Clock ,” is my most recent diptych in a series entitled “Sub-version,”..
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