Monday, February 15, 2010
Who Lives With Your Photographs?
jacob strummer miles first birthday, brooklyn n.y.
The work we all do for our jobs have a clear arc to them- they are usefull and created for a purpose: illustrate a story, sell a product, depict a person...that type of thing. But the images that really mean things to us...where do they end up? Who lives with them? Who owns them? Do they just reside in viewer's brains, sitting there and influencing future photographs? I dunno, but over the past week I've been asking that question amidst the fundraising auction of last week and a future exhibition we are getting ready for next month in a foreign culture....who wants this stuff? I just gotta ask.
Now with my last big project Sex Machines : Photographs and Interviews ( 2006 ), it was clear who was attracted to the project. It came out as a book, we did lots of events to promote it, tried to get lots of press to promote it...when you do that you really learn who your audience is. The alternative weekly journalists loved to write about it...it hit that combo of pop culture and art and weirdness that they seem to embrace. The bookstores that dug it also had a bohemian bend to them: these places embraced the book and sold it next to Dan Clowes illustrated books and Peter Bagge's comix. In my head the book was on someone's coffee table, being used to roll/cut drugs on, and most likely being used as the centerpiece for a night of laughter, people saying WTF...and hopefully something deeper. As a piece of literature you can revisit and go back to, something you could open and close...there it seemed to feed people. As far as prints that people hang in their home...well....the number of sales there can be counted pretty easily. Zero!
Now with Echolilia....do people want to own this stuff? Do they want to hang a picture of your kid in their home? Some do. Brooke and Jimbo Embry drove back to LA with a massive print of "Screen Door & Nest, 2010" on Friday night. And then we have Eric Miles and Brenda Milis, photo literate folks, who sent this shot over last week that just floored me, above. There is an image from Echolilia framed and pretty, haunting their son's first birthday party. This kid is gonna live with this shot and its gonna be in his brain. There is something about that...that this cluttered view into my cluttered life is something that is feeding people on a daily basis. That idea is something that just seems kinda profound to me.