Face à face. ___and/with___.

By Darren Bader

Face à face. ___and/with___. - © System Magazine

Bryan Cranston and/with sleeping bag

The celebrity is so very rarely an acquaintance or friend of ours. S/he is a familiar name/face/voice that we wouldn’t consider properly familiar. A celebrity is someone’s name failing to retain continuous status as a proper noun; a celebrity is a thing as much as, if not more than, a person. The ostensible someone is ever the concomitant and concurrent something. I’ve twice been able to see how celebrities might function/be as things. An edited result of this is the photos you see here – in each photo a person/thing is paired with an essence/thing. In my work, I often like to see how two presumably unrelated things might come to express/be a relation, simultaneously seen as: proto-pair, unrelated items, irreducible dyad, and anything ‘in between’.

Face à face. ___and/with___. - © System Magazine

Patricia Arquette and/with weather balloon

Sometimes these things are inanimate, e.g., smoked salmon, sweater, glove compartment. Sometimes these things are animate, e.g., cactus, composer, kangaroo. Like celebrities, these things have names and can be defined by their names (and, of course, sometimes a name is shared by any number of things one forgets share that name). The things exist together for a time in space. I usually photo-document them.

Who/what might be considered a celebrity? That depends of course. I’m not interested in an exhaustive inquiry. There’s too much information in the world and one can only hope to share enough to meet one’s personal needs. Beyond that lies the intractable currents of the ocean of names (and fame). Words will always hold us close and will always betray us. I’ll be continuing my inquiry into limited universals on System’s website later this year.

Taken from System No. 3.