PRINT May 2016

Michele Abeles

Michele Abeles, Watches #1251, 2014, ink-jet print, 43 × 29". From the series “Watches,” 2014.

PEOPLE OFTEN THINK that I intend the photos in my 2014 “Watches” series to relate to fashion photography. But in fact I was thinking about the act of shopping and its significance, and if I had to compare the pictures to a genre it would be that of surveillance photography. Which is perhaps not totally crazy, given the degree to which we’re surveilled while we shop.

I’m interested, though, in why some people see a fashion photography reference there. Of course, these photos do feature clothes, accessories, and the body parts they hang on, but they’re more about time and the verb to watch than about luxury (or subluxury) objects. A photograph by me is not like a Bernadette Corporation picture, for example, or even like one by Roe Ethridge or Christopher Williams, who puncture the surface perfection of commercial photography with certain details that clang against the studium. A

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