THE HISTORY OF ANOTHER
Projections in Rome , Rome, Italy, 2003
For The History of Another, I created a series of on-location slide projections in Rome, Italy specifically in order to be photographed. Using ancient Rome as a backdrop and foil for the grand history of the West, I projected these individuals –of unknown identity to the viewer- onto these sites in order to raise questions about who is inside and who is outside of this history. My intention was to create photographs in which the projected individuals appear to be searching -without apparent success- for a sense of home or belonging to this history. They, like the viewer, are both outside this history looking in, and inside looking out.
As the individuals projected are of Roman Jewish background and were photographed at the turn of the 20th century -in many cases near the projection sites- one inevitable reading of the project is as the telling of the history and intersection of these two ancient cultures. Yet my intention is to also raise broader questions about "otherness" within the history of the West more generally.
In addition to the slide projections, I also worked to balance the existing on-site "warm" tungsten light sources with the natural cool daylight. I then photographed the scenes using large scale color photography, often combining within the same frame elements of ancient mixed with contemporary Rome. In this regard, "I let Rome be Rome," and used the photographic medium to capture and explore the ways in which the city aestheticizes and packages its historical sites for public consumption.
Above all, I wanted to create beautiful, ghostly, and evocative images which invite reflections and meditations on history, and which allow viewers to make up their own story and meaning from each photograph.