THAT LITTLE DISTANCE
The performance of “That Little Distance,” as a series of photographs, was backed into somewhat accidentally. The images themselves were produced in a daylight studio in a former state-owned factory in Hanoi, Vietnam. The photographer appears with the subjects in the portraits. The images, made through long exposures of around 20 seconds each, ultimately became documents of performances of stillness produced by the subject and the photographer sitting silently together in front of the open shutter.
The purpose of the work was to engage by means of the photographic image the temporality of place and to create a conversation with history, art and mortality. The work attempted to engage in a dialogue with 19th century neoclassical art and a period of time when photography, then in its infancy, embraced the aesthetic of painters who were also in conversation with an earlier period of classical Greek art.
The initial impulse of the work was to produce a series of portraits utilizing long exposure photography in a daylight-only illuminated, interior space. The second impulse of the work was, as the producer of the work, to reside within the photographic space—alongside the principle subject of the works—nude. By occupying a part of the framework of the image and simultaneously performing the roles of producer, subject and object, the intent of the work and its result became somehow secondary to the act of sitting silently and motionless many times over in conjunction with other people in the act of producing a single image.