Sunday, 29 November 2009

Look at Me vs Anonymous

Look At Me is an online archive of found photographs that attempts to preserve a legion forgotten photographic moments. Comprised largely of family portraiture, the photographs amassed here capture everyday people in commonplace situations. The utter normalcy and familiarity of found photographs is what I have always found so appealing about them. They speak a language we all understand and convey the human impulse to document and remember the important people and places that have impacted our lives.

In the statement about the project, it declares:

"Some of the photos were found on the street. Some were stacked in a box, bought cheap at a flea market. Showing off or embarrassed, smug, sometimes happy, the people in these photos are strangers to us. They can't help but be interesting, as stories with only an introduction."

What interesting for us is, we knew Angki Purbandono, a Yogyakarta based visual artist who made almost the same project as Look at Me, called "Anonymous" in 2006. Angki collects old and anonymous photos that he found in secondhand market in Yogyakarta. Now he already collect more than 3000 photos, lots more than what Look At Me project have done.

In his statement Angki said that, "As the most popular documentation system introduced by the Dutch since more than a hundred years ago, photography products undoubtedly have become the genuine records of society, providing specific-mesmerizing features irreplaceable by other historical documents. However, photographs are traditionally kept as personal archives without any attempt at acknowledging them as valid historical reference has resulted in making them to become passive historical notes."

So, which one do you think is the most interesting? :)

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