Wednesday, January 2, 2008
i just saw Ted Partin's photos for the first time and i love them. Partin says his photographs are about the gaze, and i agree that the direct gaze of the subject is one of the really arresting things about them. (of course, direct gaze isn't unusual in portraiture, so i'm not exactly sure why it sticks out here, but it could have to do with the explicit intention of it and also the accumulation of gazes in the images when the project is viewed as a whole.)
several of the blurbs about Partin's work go on to discuss the idea of capturing "the masculine, feminine and gay gaze" which would probably be very interesting in a visual theory and gender studies sort of way if the idea were a lot more fleshed out. as a single line in a gallery write-up, it's less compelling—it would be cool to see the whole project statement. whose gaze are we gazing at or through, and how do the gazes interact? how does Partin's gaze, or ours, triangulate the scenes depicted?
bonus: all of the above images were shot in Brooklyn.
(you know, the Wikipedia page on the gaze is actually pretty neat. although the "factual accuracy" of it is disputed, and there is a warning that all or part of the article might be "confusing or unclear." ha. sounds like everything i studied or wrote in college.)