When viewing a contact sheet, series of video stills, or strip of photo booth pictures, it's striking how different the same person can look from one frame to the next. Having three frames of visual information, what did the person look like in the fourth, blank frame?
I asked people to go into a silver-based black-and-white photo booth -- the kind that takes four different poses and prints them in a strip -- then pick one, cut it out and keep it. The remaining three pictures are to be displayed. The three pictures are mounted to preserve the space where the fourth picture was.
I specifically avoided giving people direction about what to do in the booth, how to be photographed, what to do with the fourth image or how to decide which image to cut out.
Preserving the space where the fourth image was calls attention to the editor's role in shaping images. It also denies immediate spectatorial pleasure and posits viewer as voyeur, imagining an image that remains unseen.
31 people were photographed in Minneapolis/St Paul's two remaining silver-based, four-pose photobooths.
"Three Pictures" was exhibited at Project Creo/The Arts Center in St Petersburg, Florida, March 12 through May 4, 2005.
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