The More That Is Taken Away
Seeing Memorials
Guantánamo Basement
Dream Sofa
Talk Tompkins
Say Peekskill
False Horizon
An Expatriate's Views of England
Memory Mechanism
World Market
Pencils Provided/skin hides
2x2 Collective

People Who Came To My House

These photographs are part of a series of thirty or so. The subjects were providing a service or making a delivery at my former house in a well-to-do neighborhood in Chicago; some of the large body of seen and unseen people who made my life easy and comfortable. By waiting for whoever showed up, I inverted the usual process of seeking out subjects to photograph. As a group, the work illuminates the underpinnings of a comfortable lifestyle. The subjects originate from all over: Germany, Bulgaria, Brazil, Vietnam... Many live in distant parts of the metropolitan area, as much as thirty miles away.

I used available light and an 8x10 camera, a cumbersome tool with perverse advantages. I could stand next to the camera instead of hiding behind it. It allows a shallow depth-of-field, when close to the subject, and a slow shutter speed that requires a semi-formal stance. Most of my subjects had little time to spare. Sometimes I was able to set the camera up in advance; for the rest I worked fast and hoped for the best. The elegant Victorian house and neighborhood served as backdrop and as counterpoint.

In deliberate contrast to their workaday subjects, the prints are made by the complicated and expensive process of hand-coating platinum/palladium solutions onto watercolor paper and exposing with a negative that I generate digitally, from a drum scan of the original film, using methods I researched and adapted for myself. Each subject gets a print, where possible.


Platinum-Palladium Prints, 17 x 11 inches or 20 x 16 inches.

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