Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The One Celebrity In The Installation

24- benny-krass.jpg

For those folks not from Philadelphia, or Philadelphians under 30, there is no way to articulate how important this photo is to I-95. It's a image that connotes time and place in a way that no other images in the installation do... it's generational and local marker. With the exception of a few images, the installation intentionally lacks direct referencing to time, but Benny Krass is one that's an exception to my rule of trying to keep it timeless.

While I am loathe to have anything that smacks of nostalgia, and there's a risk with this photo, the nostalgic factor is overridden with the need to indicate locality. People who had these local commercials as a part of the fabric of their lives know how the campiness and absurdity of Benny Krass's commercials, the commercials unintentionally brought a sort of capitalist Surrealism to us. Think I'm overstating the impact of these commercials on Philadelphians? Ask someone to recite one of the 10 second pieces and you'll see the our collective psyche laid bare. I'm not kidding.

This photo has ended the first aisle since 2002. The first aisle is a sort of "ease in" and heavy on personal imagery and this photo can place where I'm from and how old I am like no others can. As I've gone back over all of the images I really want to make sure that I need the images that I've kept in place for a number of years, and there's no question that I need this one.

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