Temporal|Portraits 2010-2012

In Temporal | Portraits my subjects, all anonymous, contemporary Europeans, unconsciously strike similar poses when confronted with having their portrait made, in a manner reminiscent of their predecessors posing for portraits centuries ago.

Nowadays we have become conditioned by the media not to regard a photograph of a stranger as worthy of attention unless it is of a celebrity. But in many Renaissance and earlier portraits we do not know the subject’s identity and it does not seem to matter to us, in opposition to our contemporary celebrity obsession. Prosopagnosics (sufferers of ‘face blindness’) develop highly elaborate means of discerning another person’s identity without actually recognising their face. The sufferer is not able to recognise people by their facial features in three-dimensional form, however when presented with a two-dimensional portrait the problem goes away. I am concentrating on little details of my subjects in front of the camera (a lock of hair, a wave of profile) using the 'feature by feature' starategy used by many sufferers of prosopagnosia. The individuals are remembered by those indicators rather than their facial features.

Portraits from this project were selected by The Photographers Gallery for Fresh Faced Wild Eyed 2011, and by the Lausanne Musée de l’ Elysée to be part of reGeneration2 tomorrow's photographers today, which was published by Thames and Hudson in June 2010.