These 3 photos are in it...
The photo above was made in Las Vegas during NBA All-Star game weekend. LB and I were at the slam dunk/ 3 point shoot out night at leading up to the UNLV It's taken from the top of the stairs looking down. When I made it was just a throwaway photo, one I hadn't given a lot of thought to... but it was one that I put in to consideration for inclusion in America. Even though the image became the cover of the book, I was still on the fence about it's inclusion in 95 until I decided that the implications of "red carpet" were important to include as a part of the installation. Are there other photos I prefer to this one? Yes, plenty. But are there other photos that can connect so strongly to the other "red carpet" photos? No. And are there other photos that have such a complete 2 perspective form? No. This photo was made from the top of a flight of stairs looking down, but could easily be the camera at a low angle looking head on at a flight of stairs. And of the photos that could go into the first aisle, I like this because it implies coming and going due to the dual perspective. And, finally, "red carpet stairs" precedes "door in open structure," an invitation to transgression and a red carpet rolled out for both the entrance and the exit.
Then there's this winner, "hotel room ceiling red carpet," a photo that's important for a few reasons. Obviously, it's a direct reference to "The Red Ceiling" by William Eggleston . It's of great importance to me to have photos that directly connect to art history. I could go on and on about that, but I'm not going to.
Formally and theoretically, reflection plays a big part in the installation and this image uses reflection in more than one way, a literal reflection of the carpeted walls creating a somewhat confusing extension of the walls to the ceiling, and it's a image that reflects the historical importance of Eggleston's Red Ceiling.
And here's another important one. It's a photo of the floor where a friend was found dead after having shot himself in the head. The bags on the floor are where his head was, the medical examiner people put them down because the floor was soaked. He was laying on his back with his head facing left. His head bled mostly toward the right, toward his records. Now that was a pretty traumatic experience. And this photo causes me great anxiety every time I look at it. I'm putting a lot of myself out there and that's an important part of the installation. I ask a lot from people; for them to trust me with images I make of them, some of which talk about past or ongoing tragedies or difficulties. And I ask a lot from people who look at the photos. So I demand a lot from myself in terms of including very personal images in the installation and this is a really demanding photo.
I could go on and on about each of these 3 photos.
The decision on which photos to include is just one part of the process of constructing the installation, where they're placed is as important as the individual images. Because these photos have vibrant color fields happening, they have to be placed at a pretty good distance from each other. Plus, if it's possible, I'd like each of these photos to be facing different directions.
Do people need to know any of the reasons for why these photos were chosen? Or do they need to know about the decisions that went into the placement of photos in the installation? No, they don't. Anyone who sees them can make their own narrative, of the indvidual images and the connection between the photos.
And that's how all the images are picked out and ordered, all 231 of them. Some are more difficult than these 3 and some are less, but this is a pretty good description of how it goes.
I was going to write some long thing about these 2 lottery photos, but I'm too tired.