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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Two: Travel Incongruities > Indifference, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2005
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16-JUL-2005

Indifference, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2005

Two women find themselves alone together in the corner of an exhibition booth at Santa Feís International Art Fair. They stand only inches apart, yet neither will acknowledge each otherís presence. One of them incongruously wears almost nothing. The other looks away Ė itís as if the semi-nude person is invisible. Given the context of an art show, anything is possible. Even this. Actually, the figure at left is a shockingly lifelike sculpture, part of the exhibit itself. Once we realize this, the meaning of the image changes. It becomes more about the nature of viewing art than a bizarre personal encounter. This is a pre-visualized concept. I knew that pairing the lifelike sculpture with a living person would produce a thought provoking incongruous relationship. I simply pre-framed the sculpture, including a few surrounding paintings for context, and then waited for various art browsers to enter my viewfinder. This was the most incongruous encounter of them all, mainly because of the contrasts in costume, coloration, scale, and body language.

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Phil Douglis03-Oct-2005 02:01
Good question, Likyin. It has probably been answered. The idea of "living art" has been exhibited in a number of venues over the years -- where artists have posed themselves in a place and allowed viewers to come to their own conclusions about what they may see. In fact, my shot of the Antwerp mime, athttp://www.pbase.com/pnd1/image/45578433 , is just such an art form. Some of them have posed in varying states of undress, as well. What do art browsers do in such situations? They stare, they look away, they may even try to engage the work of living art in conversation.
Guest 02-Oct-2005 19:47
But, what would the art browsers do if the sculpture is a real artist, a real person?
Phil Douglis25-Jul-2005 19:34
That's the idea here, Kal. Each of these figures, real and manufactured, is expressing the way they feel about this moment in time. We can identify, as you say, with both.
Kal Khogali25-Jul-2005 12:46
Couldn't help smiling. I wonder who is ignoring who. The statue seems either embarassed or annoyed at the intrusion. I like this type of incongruity, the camera captures what is fleeting in our human behaviour. Sometimes I find these are the images most amuse people (perhaps a bit like me), and I am convinced that it is becasue many people imagine themselves and see themselves in such images. A great moment Phil.
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