These photographs are from a new series of work that utilizes a toy camera to capture airplanes in flight. Following the events of September 11th, the airplane, once a symbol of industrial triumph, has adopted a new impression of threat and fear. In these images the airplane is reduced to line and shadow, a blemish on a fading sky, a silver streak of memory. All images were made from 2007-10
From June 2000 through September 2001 I re-photographed anonymous faces in the background of the main subject(s) of published photographs in the Friday NY Times. From the negatives I have cropped and enlarged one single face, creating a portrait. These non-identified people have been in crowds, or passing by as a photo-journalist took a picture. They have neither consented to nor perhaps even been aware that their photograph has been taken and subsequently published. They are then again used in my installation, singled out from the crowd; yet they are unspecific, often barely identifiable. The subject has been unknowingly recorded, their face made public, a mock surveillance twice removed from the reality of any event.
The project, which took shape during the Presidential selection of 2000, is concerned with the lack of power and agency that any one person might have. We have been subject to an erosion of freedom and rights in the current political climate. The photographs mimic the recording of faces by official agencies to protect our ‘safety’ through surveillance. With the present suspicion, and disregard of rights, this work is, among other things, a testimony to those who have been used, lost, or unacknowledged
Each photograph is printed to 14x11". They will be exhibited as a large grid structure, filling walls with as many photographs as can fit. There are 1000 photographs in total.
Photo History Series
These images are made by scanning well-known, historical photographs from textbooks, and cropping out all information except the solitary individual. The person stands alone, isolated from her/his context and any intended meaning. These anonymous people may be in a picture that is famous, but in that relationship their image exists solely as the non-identified bystander or a figure that is part of the overall composition and form of a photograph. They have become, in essence, non-persons. By physically dissecting the image to reverse the figure/ground relation, by making the anonymous person the sole occupier of the picture plane, I am attempting to deconstruct and flip the hierarchical authority of the image. The issue, therefore, is to construct a model that reveals the unacknowledged and by extension (and metaphor) considers alternate histories and people. These people, who have been unknowingly photographed, who are part of the photographer’s “composition”, are the anonymous and the unrecognized. Their lives have been reduced to one fact: that they happened to pass by and be recorded by someone whose only consideration was how this “figure” fit into their conception of a successful photograph. They are/were part of the great mass of humanity who exist(ed), whose lives become fodder for others’ use, who are the faceless artifacts of culture, the target, the statistic, the unrecognized. This work is an attempt to prioritize their individual existence.