Bill Sullivan – Situation 3 : Stop Down
“I was tired of the conventions in which most photographs of people are taken. And I was tired of the results that often seem to pass for poetry. I needed something to be objective : I wanted the context to be clearly established. I wanted play a role in the situation, but I wanted the situation to take a photograph of itself for me. I would design the scenarios in which this could happen, and then the situation could be responsible for creating the picture. The poetry would be as much in the design of that scenario as from any photograph that might come from it. These situations would include me but I would disappear as any kind of typical photographer. I would simply play a role in the scenario. I would become someone waiting for an elevator, a man reading the New Yorker waiting for a friend to pass through the turnstile, or simply another tourist watching someone having his or her portrait done. The situations were mapped out, tests were made, and special clothing was worn. I became a spy for the obvious.
Situation 3 : The Elevator Portraits (Stop Down). I developed a situation in order to manufacture group portraits. The scenario consisted of elevator doors opening and closing. At the moment the doors opened, unknown to the riders, I took their picture stationed at a distance of ten feet. I stood looking lost either next to a shopping cart or with my back facing the elevator doors, quietly taking frame after frame as the doors opened and closed.”
The first 2 situations, on his website.