During the Weimar Republic, August Sander created portraits of typical Germans near Cologne. In these images the subjects pose for the camera, conscious that it was there but more-or-less emotionally detached.
Contemporary photographer Bill Sullivan channels Sander with a post-modern twist, appropriating the image of New Yorkers as they ride elevators, pass through subway turnstiles, and have their portraits drawn. In his large-scale photographs, the “sitter” is (as often as not) unaware of the photographer, bringing to mind questions about the use of one’s likeness as well as the omnipresence of cameras — rather different issues than Sander encountered.
I must really applaud Mr. Sullivan on the presentation of these images. I have never seen the gallery motif so well employed online. Installations of the “More Turns” series — both virtual and actual — take on the appearance of the starting gate of a horse race, which in a way is what the subway can actually feel like.
(Thanks to Conscientious)