Bill Sullivan

Turn 13745 April 2004 / Turn 15384 April 2004

32″ X 44″ lightjet prints / Installation mock-up for an exhibition proposal in Germany

Turn 21139 April 2006 / Turn 20214 April 2006

(More Turns) The Subway Turnstile Pictures I developed a situation so that various subjects could be defined by the constraints of exactly the same mechanical apparatus. The scenario consisted of someone passing through a subway turnstile. At the moment that the subjects passed through the turnstile, unknown to them, I took their picture stationed at a distance of eleven feet. I stood there turning pages of a magazine observing subjects out of the corner of my eye, waiting for only the moment when they pushed the turnstile bar to release the shutter.

I was tired of the conventions in which most photographs of people are taken. And I was tired of the results that often seem to pass for poetry. I needed something to be objective: I wanted the context to be clearly established. I wanted to play a role in the situation, but I wanted the situation to take a photograph of itself for me. I would design the scenarios in which this could happen, and then the situation could be responsible for creating the picture. The poetry would be as much in the design of that scenario as from any photograph that might come from it. These situations would include me but I would disappear as any kind of typical photographer. I would simply play a role in the scenario.

The series More Turns is part of a trilogy of work entitled 3Situations. The other 2 series involve people sitting for another artist’s portrait and being in an elevator as the doors open and close. Together the 3 series reveal how icons are created through framing, and how the grammar of portraiture is found in the world around us.

CRITICAL MASS TOP 50, 2007 – Bill Sullivan


5 thoughts on “Bill Sullivan

  1. I feel like an installation like this could be really affective for work like the recent portraits that Nicole Watkins has been doing. It’s kind of off-putting that they are slightly larger than life. I wonder if these people realize their portraits from the subway are hanging in in galleries now. How strnage it would be to walk into an exhibit and be suddenly staring at yourself.

  2. I love the way he has proposed to put this in a gallery setting. The more photos that are involved in this series, the better and more effective the series is. This draws in the viewer to really study the different people.

  3. The perspective of these photographs are interesting. It catches people in their everyday life, in their normal routine. I like the comparison of all these different people who are all different individuals and yet they share the the fact that they use public transportation.

  4. The way these images are being presented are very interesting to me. With everything being set up exactly the same. the images really start to just be about each other and the similarities between them. This is a really strong cultural comparison series.

  5. I like the way that the the subjects seem to be ignoring the photographer. I don’t believe that there is a way to take these photographs without the subject being aware, it’s just like they don’t care. It really interesting how these people are in their own worlds, trying not to make eye contact with anyone.

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