THE BOTTOM LINE
Vintage photography installation
Exhibited at Griesbadgalerie Ulm (link), Feb. 07. until Mar. 08 2015
Who are the people taking photos of people who are bending down?
Who are the people putting these photos in family albums?
Who are the people taking these photos out of the albums to sell them?
Who are the people buying these photos?
Who are the people coming to an exhibition to look at these photos?
And why would any of them be doing that?
I have a collection of more than 60 original photos and negatives taken between 1900 and 1980. Not in the collection are nude photos or pictures of young children. The focus of the collection lies on pictures taken prior to 1965. Some of the photos are funny, some interesting, some are pieces of art.
What always gets me, though, is a feeling of embarrassment when I look at such family snapshots. It makes me feel like a voyeur.
In contrast to other collections or publications that deal with such motives (like “Rear Ends” by R. Handy and K. Elsener), this installation reflects upon this moment of embarrassment. The photos are displayed in their original size at a height, that makes the observer assume a position similar to the position the people in the photographs are pictured in. In Yoga, the position is called Urdhva Uttanasana. It’d be much easier on your back if you bent your knees instead.
A version of this installation has been submitted to be shown at Burning Man 2015.
At each showing of the installation, I will take photos of people beinding down to look at photos of people bending down. In later exhibitions, I will add some of these phots into the set. To have people bending to look at photos of people bending down to look at photos of people bending down. etc.