Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Touching Strangers

Richard Renaldi, "Julie and Xavier, 2007." Image found here.

What do you get when you ask people who don't know each other if they'd be willing to touch each other and have their picture taken?

See for yourself. Be sure to look for the "advance" icon below the photos.

These are intriguing photographs for the viewer, I think: even as we scrutinize these people and ponder what they're thinking as they hold these poses, we're invited to place ourselves in these moments as well and wonder about questions of intimacy and personal space. This photo is especially intriguing to me, given the space/time context suggested by Julie's wedding dress.

This project reminds me of a slip of the tongue I heard during an interview on NPR sometime last year, I think it was, which I think I've mentioned here before. In the course of the interview, a man had meant to say, "There comes a moment in every person's life . . . " but instead said, "There comes a person in every moment's life . . . " I pretty much stopped listening to the interview after he said that. Think of that, the fleeting (or enduring?) quality of "every moment's life," as though it has an existence apart from us that we bear witness to, like a flash of a meteor burning up that we just happen to catch out of the corner of our eye--just like our memories (if we do remember them) of the people who inhabit that moment . . . or, in the case of these folks' consenting to be photographed by Renaldi, something far more, well, memorable.

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

I'm still officially away from here, but work should ease up a bit here shortly.

3 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Cool premise. I must see more.

Cheers.

John B. said...

Randall,
I don't know if you saw it, but below the pic linked to via "See for yourself" in my post is an icon that you can click on to advance to the next image. There are perhaps a couple dozen pictures in all for this project (which is also the subject of a just-published book) on Renaldi's site.

Thanks for commenting.

Ashley said...

Thanks for giving me something to think about. The pictures do capture something more than we as viewers are capable of knowing... it's as though we are drawn to the pictures simply because we can only imagine how the atmosphere was at that moment or what was said before/after the flash went off.

Every moment's life... thanks for listening so thoroughly to that NPR error--- it's pretty much a stunning thought.