November marked 6 months since Viccy and I started Dirty Laundry. How did it begin you ask? Well…
Last Spring while Viccy was visiting me in Brooklyn we woke up one morning and something sent Viccy into a funk. I can’t remember what it was but I knew she needed to have a fun day divorced from any real world concerns. It was grey and rainy but we got up, got dressed, imbibed and headed out into New York with a plan to maybe go to the MOMA, maybe see some galleries, but just generally have fun. We found ourselves getting off at the first stop in Manhattan- giddy and silly we wandered around China town – ate some noodles, looked in little shops, and generally laughed our way through the Bowery lighting shops, around the Lower East Side, over to Chelsea Market, through the Chelsea Galleries and down into a West Village speak easy. It was perfect. We definitely got strange looks for our strange behaviour but we didn’t care in the least.
When we settled into the bar with our cocktails we started writing about our day in a little book- maybe we had started earlier actually. ** Viccy did we start writing in the book earlier in the day? Anyway, we were going back and forth writing about our perspectives on the day and the things we’d encountered. When Viccy had the book I’d occupy myself by taking pictures of her or various objects. It felt like our first foray into collaboration. We’d talked a lot over the years about working together, and I had once used a short story she wrote as the basis for a short film I made but we’d never really worked together. Over the next couple days we workshopped some ideas for a project we could do together/separately and landed on the concept behind DL.
Working on DL has been really exciting and interesting for me. After 6 months I feel like I’ve settled into a style for the sets- a combination of wides, portraits, and big close ups that tell as story. There is an undeniable power in being up close to something and I think that motivates me to include very close pictures in each of the photo sets. Each set of photos comes from one session of shooting and as a result there is a sense of being in one moment which I think comes out in the short stories too which tend to also be set entirely in the present tense. Settling into these patters makes me feel like we’re mastering the project but it also makes me itch to do something new where we can break out of this mould and expand in a new direction.
Our 6 month anniversary arrived the week Viccy was writing for #6 and I was prepping for #7. We’d recently decided that 12 seemed like the appropriate number of projects for DL so it was interesting to discover that 6 months fell at halfway through the process. Halfway is exactly where I feel we are- we’ve worked out the kinks, we’re mastering the practice and now we have to use what we’ve learned to finish strong. I’ve been thinking a lot about the last row of photographs. The organization of the pictures on the site (which we don’t actually control) creates subgroups in my mind. The first four thumbnails on the main page for DL were quite dark while for the second row I’ve used all day exteriors which I plan to carry through #8. This has left me wondering what to do for the third row. Should I go back to darker sets or maybe do something different all together such as use black and white photographs? How can I keep a sense of continuity while also differentiating this last set of four? Aesthetically what will look the most interesting? ** Viccy do you feel like your stories have been influenced by the way the thumbnails appear together? Or is really the triptych that influences you most?
Viccy, how has the process changed for you over the last 6 months? What has been the best part of this project for you and what has been the hardest? Have you noticed anything change over time in the photographs or in them as sets? Having come this far in this project what do you want for the next project?