Exhibitions > Observance: As I See You, You See Me

Caleb Cole, Man in Parking Garage, c-print, 2008
Caleb Cole

Caleb Cole’s series <it> Other People Clothes <it> shows the artist dressed up in someone else’s clothes. For each of the portraits the scene is carefully staged, cropped and lit with the artist either looking directly at the camera or staring melancholically off into the distance. Although Cole is the physical subject of these images, they are not traditional self-portraits. The artist spends time inventing stories for the people they encounter in public places. These narratives address isolation, desire, confusion and are performed in a mode of questioning and searching. Each photograph presents a constructed scene that begins with an outfit or piece of clothing (either bought, found, or borrowed), then an imaginary person to fill those clothes, and finally a location where that person can play out a moment of solitude. Cole aims to capture “the time right before something changes, the holding in of a breath and waiting, the preparing of oneself for what is to come.” The series challenges preconceived notions of who should wear what in terms of types of clothing and reveals the socially coded nature of clothing itself and how much we assume from looking at someone in their environment. https://calebcolephoto.com