To A Stranger
With this work I am looking to 19th century American portraiture as a source of inspiration. The photographic portrait, from its inception, situated itself as a space of private performance as well as kind of cultural document. The subjects of these early photographs, in collaboration with the photographers, unconsciously created a record of an emerging middle class. At the same time, the studio portrait was a space where subjects could assert aspects of individuality for scrutiny in private parlor settings and family albums. Many of those early photographs, now situated in a contemporary context, appear as strange performances coded for a particular era and symbolic in nature.