A Portrait of Hollywood
altered book, frame, cloth, picture light
24 x 20 x 6 in.
The pages of this photographic book about Hollywood’s famous have been folded in on themselves, provoking a visual discourse between our knowledge of film stars and their secret lives, although very little, if anything, is revealed. The irregular black, grey, and white edges of the folded pages uncover nothing about the inner existence of these actors but give a calligraphic overview of the relationship between written text and photograph from the original book. Viewers of the altered book can thumb through the creased pages for a glimpse of the stars—half a smile, a bisected face, a truncated pose—as a tactile and visual metaphor for how we might catch a split-second view of their famous visages on the flickering screen or in passing on the street. No description or photograph can ever fully reveal who an individual is. My “portrait” helps to mystify the process of understanding the film star persona by perpetuating the myth.