kottke.org posts about richardrenaldi

Touching strangers

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 11, 2008

Richard Renaldi's photos of touching strangers seem a little predictable to me — white guy with black family, blue-collar guy with white-collar guy, blig black guy with white family — but still worth a look. Joerg Colberg thinks they're amazing:

Asking two complete strangers to not only pose with each other, but to also touch each other while doing that... And this in a culture whose discomfort with touching someone you don't know, or touching something that someone else might have touched still baffles me, even after having spent almost ten years in it! I remember I asked Richard how he actually did that. How do you ask complete strangers to pose with and touch each other? How do you do that in New York City of all places?

The act of making a photograph turns the subjects into actors, and two actors touching each other isn't that unusual. When I look at many of these photos, I see actors and that detracts from the intimacy. Even so, I love this one.