IAP A1: assignment

Project statement

This series investigates the way we read identity and character in portraits and captions, and explores whether captions influence us even when we know them to be inaccurate or untrue.

How much of what we assume about someone from a photograph is based on a reading of physical characteristics like facial expression? Do accompanying snippets of information about public and personal profiles mediate our estimation of what kind of a person they might be? Do some categories of information have more influence on our interpretation than others? And do we still adjust our interpretation of a person’s identity and character when we read a caption we know to be inaccurate? To explore these questions I composed a series of five portraits with rotating captions that provide contrasting alternatives for each subject’s occupation, political orientation and taste in music. By intention or chance a few of the captions may be accurate, but most are fabricated.