"Quiet Moments Spent With Friends"
This series of photographs uses the aesthetics of the snapshot in a series of self-portraits in mundane situations with various music and film "celebrities."Throughout cultural history, photography has been the primary medium used to explore conceptions of celebrity, whether it be in the form of a promotional still or head shot, a paparazzi style image in a tabloid magazine, or a carefully orchestrated collaboration between subject and photographer. In these photographic representations, the divide between fact and fiction becomes blurred and reconstructed, as the private life of the celebrity becomes public domain. The photographs in “Quiet Moments Spent with Friends,” mimic the formal qualities of a snapshot, giving a sense of visual transparency to a fictive and staged scene. The banality of the individual scenes refers to the recent rise in popularity of the Reality Television genre and its ironies as it is packaged and presented as close to the viewer's livable experience, yet is completely scripted and controlled, or else rooted in absurdity. Reality television also relies on voyeurism and surveillance as ordinary people achieve celebrity through the simple willingness of allowing their private lives and inner conflicts to be exposed to a public audience. Similarly, tabloids operate by capitalizing on the same voyeuristic tendencies seen in reality television, offering up candid images of celebrities in banal situations suggesting to the fan that celebrities are just like them. “Quiet Moments Spent with Friends” uses humor, performance, and interactions of reality and fiction to illustrate that photography and celebrity are ultimately both about looking and being looked at.