In English, AHEAD means to move forward, to lead or progress. The title is also a pun: A HEAD (one head).
Kruithof began this project by thinking about how to create an anonymous portrait, where the subject’s identity remains private. By capturing the back of the head, one cannot recognize gender, nationality, age, and emotions of the sitter. Removing these features, which always fall within the tradition of portrait photography, unifies all resulting pictures. In addition, facial recognition algorithms are unable to identify or verify a person’s identity from a picture like this: AHEAD shows a flaw in human encyclopedic tendency by means of anti-labeling and anti-classification.
For AHEAD, Kruithof took 1,080 pictures in Berlin, New York and Mexico City using an iPhone. She left each subject to choose her or his background color, as if they were taking a selfie, but facing the background instead of posing in front of it. For the final installation, the pictures have been arranged in a grid, the same way digital photographs are usually organized online and visualized on mobile devices. From the distance, each portrait in this series looks like a single dot, resembling a pixel forming, in turn, a bigger picture.
This website is developed by Jakub Straka, organized by an algorithm in which the grid is visualized in different ways depending on the device it is being seen with. AHEAD is a project that appears in a physical edition and in different site-specific versions, shown previously at FOUR A.M. in New York (2015), PhotoRoad Festival in Gibellina, Sicily (2016), Museo Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City (2017), Façade in Middelburg NL (2017) and at DE.GROEN, Arnhem NL (2019). In 2023 Museum Folkwang Essen acquired the handmade edition existing out of 12 works for its permanent collection.
The 1st version was a window installation shown at FOUR A.M. New York (2015)
The 2nd version is this website (2015)
The 3rd version was at Gibellina photoroad-festival international di fotografia open air (2016)
The 4th version is a solo exhibition at Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City (2017)
The 5th version was part of the open air art festival: Façade in Middelburg (CBK Zeeland), The Netherlands (2017)
The 6th version is the AHEAD edition, which u can see through this link. (2017)