Myself: Timed Exposures, 1971
Softcover, unpaginated (36 pp.), with 36 duotone illustrations. 5.5” x 8.5”
The conceptual frame for this project is bounded by the influences of Jacques Henri Lartigue, Lee Friedlander and Marcel Duchamp. From Lartigue there is humor, playful and innocent. After all, his pictures of the events and gatherings of a leisure French upper class family come from the perspective of a curious child. Friedlander, in his self portraits, intersects his own image within a societal landscape of alienation and irony. Duchamp was early to embrace chance as a (dis)organizing principle in the articulation of an artwork that connects with the vagaries of lived experience. In Myself: Timed Exposures I attached my 35 mm camera to a tripod and walked out into public space looking for situations to insert myself and create a picture. Once I found a likely opportunity I would set up the camera, release the self-timer on the shutter, and walk into the frame. The mechanical timer would noisily unwind for ten full seconds, allowing the world to change its complexion in front of my static lens. People, strangers to me, would be jarred for a moment from their routine and their perceived public isolation. I was standing uncomfortably close next to them, an abandoned camera buzzing a few feet away. I might say something or nothing at all. And suddenly, ‘click’, the machine had made its own “decisive moment” and only the film would know what latent treasure it owned. I was busy being the subject matter and would have to wait for the darkroom to find out what happened at that moment, and the hundreds of other moments that were captured that day and the many thousands over the course of a year long project.
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