For this assignment, I wanted to experiment with the process of getting to know someone. Some of the questions I had in the beginning include:
- How much would I be able to know about somebody through others’ description of this person?
- What can I make out of others’ descriptions of someone else?
- How much do we know about ourselves?
- How can I portray “perspective”?
I received a curated list of her people including her family members, friends, and one ex-boyfriend. Within a week I talked with 7 of them in person or on the phone.
After interviewing her people, I realized that I got to know my subject so well that I felt like I knew her as much as those who’ve known her for years. At this point, I recognized that the greatest takeaway was not the data that I collected from the interviews, but my own portrayal of her, which I gradually developed throughout this experience. I created a private edition of the interviews to give it to my subject as a gift, and also my own description (portrait) of her that was also given to her privately.
The process itself became a novel and experimental capture technique for a portrait. I created a concept video to introduce this method and a guide for people to use for conducting their own “inter-portrait” of someone.
He Said She Said (1970)
Dove Real Beauty Sketches
I think this project would have been very interesting and perhaps even stronger if I didn’t know my subject at all. This way my perception of the subject would solely rely on the interviews and might have produced a different result.
This project would also become more powerful if it is created as a series. I would love to have more subjects who are willing participate and get to learn about them.