Siri Kaur Statement

Artist Statement
These are photographs of strangers, people I don’t know, whose lives I discover through the act of photography. The strangers select themselves by responding to notices I post around town and online, announcing, “Female Photographer Seeks Portrait Subjects. All Ages, Shapes, Sizes Welcome.” I use my unthreatening, cheerful persona when we meet; I am a woman and friendly, which seems to be enough to gain the strangers’ trust. Giving me permission to enter their lives long enough to create a portrait nurtures a deep-seated curiosity I have nurtured my whole life. My role as photographer gives me access to these anonymous existences. I arrive at the stranger’s house, always telling a close friend where I’m going, just in case. They invite me in, and I chatter away, disarming with my gregarious banter, imagining myself as the fashion photographer in Blow Up. They usually want me to pick out their clothes, to arrange their hair. I almost always rearrange the furniture to create a more interesting set for our shoot. The fancy lights, softboxes, and big camera always come along with me, mostly because fancy photo paraphernalia allows us to slip more easily into the fantasy. They become important, beautiful people and I pretend to be a famous celebrity photographer. It’s a game and we are both willing players. I pay close, careful attention to the people who want to be photographed, but never lasts longer than three hours- that’s most I can do before I crawl home exhausted, spent and satisfied.

Process Statement
For this body of work I used a medium format Bronica camera and then a Hasselblad, both with an 80 mm lens. Some of the images are lit with a daylight balanced strobe pack and softbox. Others use only natural lighting or a mixture of the two. All the prints are lightjets made from scans off 2 1/4 film.

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