/28 Leisure Time

Caitlin Teal Price

Stranger Lives

The photographs, shot with a Mamiya RZ 6x7 medium format camera and Kodak Portra film, use sharp focus and a flattened perspective from above to juxtapose the confidence and vulnerability of strangers on the sands between Coney Island and Brighton Beach New York. Every summer for 7 years, Price spent two weeks walking along the New York shoreline in search of strangers who, with individual presentation and the possessions surrounding them, offered an intimate glimpse into their personal lives. The photographs in Stranger Lives offer the opportunity to stare, to wonder, and to fantasize about the lives of anonymous New Yorkers. The viewer is encouraged to investigate and imagine the stories told by the scars, veins and wrinkles on the skin, the pattern of the blanket, the style and placement of shoes and the items brought for both comfort and survival. The series examines what perceptions we form about a stranger from the visual information we gather in a brief encounter. Playing with the legacy of the uncanny, this leisure activity has taken on a specimen like quality – making the familiar strange and drawing the viewer into an intimate and voyeuristic exploration of object and body.