(Rotterdam / Van der Hoevenplein, entreelobby New Orleans)
Photography is Penelope Umbrico’s (1957, United States) preferred medium and the subject matter of her art. Umbrico studies the collective nature of image production and consuming on the Internet – which are still on the rise. This fascination with collective photography practices has made her concentrate on themes that are popular with many people who are fond of taking photographs. Sunset Portraits is a continuation of the Suns from Flickr project. For this project she typed in ‘sunset’ as keyword on Flickr and this yielded more hits than any other keyword. The photos that are part of Sunset Portraits feature the sun, rather than the persons that are depicted. They raise questions about the individualism, uniqueness, and the lack of individualism that becomes apparent when one is confronted with the enormous amount of similar thoughts. Clearly, the collective ritual that we all contribute to is a powerful thing. Sunset portraits (like the video Sharing a Beautiful Sunset (2009) by Jasper Elings that was shown in Out There #1) consists of images taken from the Internet. Both Umbrico and Elings work with an almost immeasurable number of stereotypical images of sunsets that people post, in their wish to share an experience that is out of the ordinary.