Caleb Cole: Other People’s Clothes
Sometimes you see work that you fall in love with, and then you meet the person who created the work and you fall in love with the work a little more, because that person is so great. Such is the case of Caleb Cole and his wonderful series, Other People’s Clothes. I have been a fan of this work since it first knocked me out in the 2009 when juroring the Critical Mass offerings and I featured some of it on LENSCRATCH. Caleb has been hard at work completing the series, and is getting ready to create a book. But I’ll let him tell you about it.
If you would like to help Caleb bring this project into book form, you can donate here.
OTHER PEOPLE’S CLOTHES: At the heart of my work is a fascination with ambiguities and inconsistencies, an interest in how I go about negotiating areas of grey and how others manage to do the same. When I am in public, I watch people going about their daily routines alone; I wonder about the lives they lead, wonder how they experience the world around them and how they make meaning of it. I spend time inventing stories for them: narratives of isolation, of questioning and searching, of desire, and of confusion. The images in Other People’s Clothes are a product of my exploration of private moments of expectation, a visual expression of my experiences stepping into the shoes of the types of people I see on a daily basis. Each photograph in the series is a constructed scene that begins with an outfit or piece of clothing (either bought, found, or borrowed), then a person that I imagine to fill those clothes, and finally a location where that person can play out a silent moment alone. This moment is the time right before something changes, the holding in of a breath and waiting, the preparing of oneself for what is to come. Though I am the physical subject of these images, they are not traditional self-portraits. They are portraits of people I have never met but with whom I feel familiar, as well as documents of the process wherein I try on the transitional moments of others’ lives in order to better understand my own.
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