My friend, mentor and avid facebook-ee Tanja Hollander is venturing out on a photographic trek. She will visit all of her facebook friends in person and shoot their portrait. Conceptually this project rocks my world. Mostly because it is an ethnographic exploration into intimacy and questions the definition of friendship both qualitatively and quantitatively.
They say the camera steals your soul and a part of my soul has always accepted this as truth. But I don't think it steals your soul I think of it more as an offering. Allowing someone to take your portrait the way Tanja does is a cautious and vulnerable exchange. People who sit for an artist are saying "heres a piece of my soul, I trust you'll make something beautiful from it." It is as intimate and personal as it gets.
For Tanja's project she is exploring the way we define friendship and intimacy and testing how that virtual definition fares in reality. Who are all these people? Where do they live? What do they live in? What's they're lifestyle like? Are they really her friend? That is the question.
In order to raise cash money for the project Tanja is asking folks to write her a letter, telling a story, explaining why they can't afford her work and to offer whatever they can. She will be posting these letters on her blog. Just another extension of voyeurism from a project dictated by a distant and insatiable intrigue.