Critical Mass 2011: Bootsy Holler
Los Angeles photographer, Bootsy Holler, is a commercial, editorial and fine art photographer who has been shooting professionally and exhibiting for more than 20 years. Her portraits of musicians, actors, and people in general are always approached with an intuitive and personal style. It’s her fine art work, that allows her to explore memory, family, and the way we live.
For the 2011 Critical Mass competition, Bootsy submitted a project where she found a way to go back in time and participate in her family photographs. After photographing herself in similar era clothing and poses, she made room for herself in family photographs from decades past. The series, Visitor: rebuilding the family album, is a fantasy that we all wish we could experience, a way to visit to those we loved, or wanted to know.
Bootsy Holler is a contemporary photographer strongly influenced by stories of family, history and place. Whether she’s reimagining the family photo album or bringing to life stories behind specific inanimate objects, Holler’s work is driven by the powerful connection between previously untold stories, and portrayed by previously unseen points of view. Much of Holler’s work is rooted in her growing up in a secretive government area near the Hanford Nuclear site, home of the plutonium bomb that was said to have ended WWII. She now resides in Los Angeles, traveling to find inspiration and connections with people, environments , objects and the unspoken secrets we all keep.
Visitor: rebuilding the family album
I’ve often wondered what it might be like to experience the frozen moments in my family photographs and be connected. I want to understand my self better and my DNA so I can experience where I have come from and how these people have influenced my being.
The goal with Visitor is to reinterpret my intimate family snapshots, explore time, history, meet and understand family while blurring boundaries. I’m trying to understand my ancestry and in particular my mother and why she is who she is. To understand how I have been put together and created over generations and time through family to become who I am. I created a look driven by the era of each original photograph, pulling a wardrobe I’ve collected over the years and inherited from my grandmother, who was a seamstress. By making a composite I’ve placed myself into each world I want to revisit. I want to understand my family stories and memories through my research of each image and the feeling of setting myself back in the moment as I wait for the timer to snap the shot.
In my efforts to be authentic to the photographs, I have matched the format of the original image: some soft grain and blown out whites help match the old feeling of each snap shot. Each image is printed in the original size and placed on a black photo album page similar to how the images were found with white ink and handwritten text to guild the viewer through the album.
Famed work is shown in a shadow box 14”x14” in edition of 10 with the image floating on black archival mat board and handwritten white ink. Often the pieces are seen with an attached magnifying glass so the viewer can take a closer look.
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