Sunday, March 22, 2009

handsome places

I'm crushing on the foil insignias that photographer's studios used to put on border of their prints. I like how they manage to be both subtle and heroic at the same time, each one printed with a defining flourished script, sometimes gilt or inlaid with paint. Of course, what I'm really crushing on is a form of advertisement, but this form of branding seems less like big-box labeling and more like individual authorship-- I especially like when the photographer includes their own name, or chooses to also print their address, city and state. It would be interesting to track these places down and see what has come of these building that used to house these false interiors. I have been thinking a lot about these fake rooms with their show-offy back drops and handsome furniture and how hundreds of people probably had their photographs taken in each of these settings. These fantastical rooms with their opulent wall hangings, false windows and strategically placed furniture serve to frame a person standing within them. In this way they are some sort of non-space or fantasy space, where ornate rugs represent the opulent lives their patrons hope to achieve and be outlived by, and the sturdy furniture replicate the photographers attempt to freeze the fleeting moment of a persons life into a single and unchanging picture frame.

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