Kruithof began this project by questioning how to create an anonymous portrait, where the subject remains private. By capturing the back of the head, one cannot see gender, nationality, age or someone’s facial expression and emotion. Removing all of these features, so often included in indexes within the tradition of portrait photography, unifies all of the portraits. It’s important to Kruithof that facial recognition systems are unable to identify or verify a person’s identity from these photos.
Anonymity is central in this project and AHEAD shows a sort of failure in human encyclopedic tendencies by means of anti-labeling and anti-classification. For this installation, the artist processed the images by their color values, which enforces the mixture of the different people depicted, having an opposite effect than, for example, organizing and archiving by date and location.
The entire collections of photos is 1080 total and together this collection of photos appears as if made up of individual dots, like pixels making up an image. Each photograph is taken with an iPhone, the subject chooses their background color, as they would when taking a selfie. Facing the background instead of posing in front of it. Kruithof arranges these photos in a grid, the way digital photographs are organized in our devices (think of Instagram), a now common way we view archives of images.
This website is developed by Jakub Straka and shows an algorithm which scanned and ordered the photos by their color values through automated reasoning.
Kruithof develops site-specific installations out of the accumulation of portraits, which can be seen as versions.
The 1st version was a window installation shown at FOUR A.M. New York
The 2nd version is this website
The 3rd version was at Gibellina photoroad-festival international di fotografia open air
The 4th version will be a solo exhibition at Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City