Lives Real and Imagined

By virtue of both an actual and fictitious person appearing in the same camera frame, a dichotomy between real life and imagined life is formed. Sometimes this dichotomy is active, i.e., the human subject is interacting, albeit sometimes fleetingly, with the portrayed life. For example they may be seen quickly glancing at an advertisement as they pass by on the street or actively engaging artwork in a museum. Other times the interaction is entirely passive; the participant is in fact oblivious to it and it is only the observer, who makes note of it.

From the humorous to the poignant, some of these combinations of real and imagined lives present stunning contrasts while other times there are surprising similarities. But in the end I found the distinction between the real and interpreted lives in these photos to be more complicated or blurred than it originally seems. What do I really know about the real person in the photograph? My inferences about their lives may be every bit as fictitious as the lives portrayed in the art or advertising they appear with. This dimension of mystery and uncertainty only adds to the fun of interpreting these images for me.


(click an image for full screen and titles)