A central issue for many photographers is the peculiar way in which the presence of a camera affects the phenomenon being observed—especially when human subjects are involved. Jed Fielding’s new exposition of photographs in Look at me—a pictorial study of blind schoolchildren in Mexico, offers a fascinating exploration of this concept by documenting what happens when the subjects of photographic portraits cannot look back at the photographer or even see their own image. Capturing a rare sense of unmediated contact with his subjects Fielding has concentrated closely on these children’s features and gestures, probing the enigmatic boundaries between surface and interior, innocence and knowing, beauty and grotesque. Confronting disability in a way that affirms life, Fielding’s sightless subjects project a vitality that seems to extend beyond the limits of self-consciousness to produce images that reveal essential gestures of absorption and the basic expressions of our humanity.
For a preview of his work navigate to Fielding’s website where he has posted online a selection from Look at me. And if you’re in the New York area, Fielding will be exhibiting his work from September 10 through October 17th at the Andrea Meislin Gallery. See the gallery website for more details or navigate to the press’s website to find out more about the book.