p h o t o
two way
family portraits
d e s i g n
frankfurt balkind
publishing: theArtDisk
a b o u t a r t i s t
curriculum vitae
two way :: chicago cultural center :: june 3 - august 6
brief description of the conceptual basis of the work
two way explores notions of class, race, gender and sexual identity. I am beginning to question: are any of us truly that special? or are we merely products of our environment in an increasingly global culture? and what happens when you subvert the notion of diversity by contrasting it with absolute conformity? as the formal device for this series, i pair myself with one other person. the overall effect is that of a series of 'couples'. and quite literally, i am exploring the inherent dichotomy within a pairing of subjects. thus the title, 'two-way'. and yet, once again, i am attempting to subvert the traditional genre of couples portraiture by inserting myself as the generic, blank, antiseptic, counterpart to a person who is portraying themself as a 'unique entity'. i am an actor, a performer; the iconic 'everyman', while each of them is the star of their own world.

physical and technical project description
for this installation, i am employing the formal device of mounting each photo within a light-box. shown here is a preliminary mock-up installation, which I did in preparation for the show. each box is such that a 2-way mirror covers the image, rendering the image invisible when the light is not turned on. the viewer is able to turn the light box on and off by means of a simple pull-chain hanging from the bottom of each box. this formal device is intended to give the viewer the experience of seeing first themselves in the mirror of the box, and then witnessing the image emerge into view once the chain is pulled. In this way, the viewer experiences themself being 'replaced' by the image. essentially, the viewer is given the experience of 'dissolving' as the portrait emerges and comes forward.