Sunday, December 02, 2007

Photographs: 2007, Concept: 1987

Generally, newspaper coverage of photography as art emphasizes the photographer over the work. That makes sense, of course: a news story is generally "Who, What, Where" at a basic level.

Usually, this means we see the same stories over and over again: a photographer looks back on a long career, a photographer's new show is controversial, or -- increasingly -- a photographer has somehow become favored by celebrities, and has put forward a new book or show that "reveals" a number of famous people.

The sell: see Whoopi Goldberg in a tub of milk.

Today's Daily News has a very vague article about a photographer who manages to fake that revelation:

Photographer puts fake celebs in focus
"I'm very interested in our fixation with celebrity and how we think we know them intimately, but we only know them through photographs and the media imagery. So I thought if I got a look-alike and replaced the celebrity, does it matter to us whether they are real or not? And is the look-alike more important than the actual person? The look-alike is accessible, but the actual celebrity is untouchable. We fantasize about celebrities so much, and yet when we meet them we are starstruck and we can't say anything."
(Sometimes people use the word "we" without checking first, but let's let that go.)

The book is Alison Jackson: Confidential in case you have unmet fake celebrity needs.

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