1) Being photographed by a stranger (intentionally) or 2) ending up in the photograph of a stranger (accidentally): I was always preoccupied with these ideas as a child while on family vacations. I’d fixate on where the photograph would end up geographically and usually imagined it in a box in a basement in some Midwestern town. I’d think about if anyone would wonder who I was in the background. Probably not, but that was the point.
This kind of wonder isn’t anything new or interesting. But I realized that it’s unconsciously operative when I take photographs of strangers (who are all women, apparently). I was just looking at this photograph I took of some girl on an escalator in Stockholm. I wonder who she is, how she’s doing.
I think this fascination is less about the people I’ll never know and more about the truths I’ll never know. The information, the knowledge, the Truth with a capital T that is out there but is unattainable to me. Like when the only evidence in a murder trial is destroyed, or when a missing person is never found. The data is floating around somewhere but we no longer have access to it. No longer having access to something that could have been known: I think that’s why I took this photo.