LOOK BUT DON'T TOUCH
POLAROID PHOTOGRAPHY SERIES
In early 2020, the Corona Virus, or Covid-19, hit the United States. Schools were closed, businesses shuttered, and people forced into self-isolation and social distancing. This project is designed to address the separation required between family, friends, and neighbors, but also the horrible reality of what this means; not being able to be with those who need us most. The images in this series touch on the desire for contact and difficultly in not seeing others; connection without contact.
The immediacy of the Polaroid creates an immediate souvenir of the experience and yet is frustratingly clumsy, inconsistent, and aesthetically flawed. There is delight and pain, convenience and difficulty, access and limitation. The presence of the photographer can, at times, be seen mixed in with the trees or other exterior elements reflected in the windows. These distorted elements are layered on the visually stressed, yet often happily smiling faces of the participants.
At each location, the artist communicates simple instructions to the participants through the use of large note cards, further stressing the contact-free exchange required. Two Polaroids are created; one for the artist, one for the participant. The participants' Polaroid is left with a 4x6" card explaining the project and thanking them for their involvement.
The distancing required, and in many cases still enforced around the world, created a unifying experience rarely recorded in history. Simultaneously, the developed world's populated had the same moment, collectively, and yet, completely alone. We were happy for a moment of levity and exchange with an odd photographer in the snow, despite never talking with them, holding their hand, or connecting beyond a quickly posed photo session.