This piece combines primitive photography with meditation, collaboration and endurance. Sitting consists of a very large custom-made pinhole camera that sits in the middle of a gallery, a chair and a set of lights on a timer. Subjects make an appointment to sit for a portrait during the exhibition. An exposure takes one hour. The subject sits, meditating on their own image in a mirror mounted on the front of the camera. Sitting is as much about the participants’ collaboration and perseverance as it is about the actual portraits that result. To sit for a portrait is a individual and personal act, and is essential to truly experience the piece. The sitter is, in essence, on exhibit in the gallery during the time they are sitting for their one-hour exposure.
The resulting portraits, in addition to harkening back to an earlier era of photography, resonate with a likeness of the sitter that is possibly truer than a traditional fraction-of-a-second photograph or snapshot. One cannot hold any single expression for the span of an hour; instead, all expressions are merged into one image. The sitter’s essence, distilled over time, is revealed.
Low Tech showed at the Center for Fine Art Photography during the month of October.