The Montreal portraits were executed in Montreal during the winter of 2013. The sitting was constructed as a performance space where two individuals sat facing each other, silently or not; sitter, photographer, camera, lights, tape recorder. The questions of what it means to take a photograph and to be photographed were central to the sitting. I had left Montreal in the summer of 1982 and my oldest community of friends and family is still there. These sessions were an opportunity to sit with those people close to me. As a photographer, I depressed the shutter and maintained pressure until a 64 G card was filled. Each session lasted between 20-45 minutes. After completing the photographs, I turned on a tape recorder and recorded the sitter speaking about something important to them. The soundtrack is a combination of 26 people talking.
The panel on the left is a video panel of the Portrait session as a slide show constructed from the stills framed next to it. The stills panel plays with the photo-booth four-in-a-sequence format.
The original intention for this piece was to have 26 video panels on walls surrounding a long table with twenty-six loud speakers set in front of chairs. All video and audio would play in a loop. The sound of 26 people talking simultaneously would be heard upon entering the room but single voices could be discerned as one pulled up a chair at the table.