TOUCH- an ongoing investiagtion into personal space
touch was conceived in 2005 when I acquired my first digital pocket camera. The camera enabled me to spontaneously shoot anyone I encountered. I was curious to see what would be revealed if my subjects posed with my hand? There’d be no rules or limitations.
Would their placement of my hand expose that illusive permitter which defines our comfort zone- personal space? Would I be invited inside or be shut out; kept at arms length? What would this tell of them; what would it say of me?
With over 1,500 touch images taken to date I continue the project with the goal of exposing collective traits and commonalities within groups and societies.
In his photo series touch, Evans explores the boundaries between subjects. He instructs them to take his hand and place it in the frame of the photograph and by doing so explores the cultural and psychological limits of connectedness. Some take his hand and keep him at a distance while others are prepared to take him into their bodies, literally. The viewer is invited to reflect on the limits of physical contact between strangers, both in its cultural and gendered context, and to explore their own thresh-hold of acceptable touching. touch also challenges the conventions of photographic portraiture. Evans is both subject and photographer as he invades the space of both the sitter and the image. His intervention blows apart the separation of the artist and subject, they can no longer be discrete, and the viewer must consider Evans’ influence over the sitter. This work embodies Evans’ belief that all his photographic portraits have himself as the central subject and that the images he produces of a sitting are a record of an event in which he is central.
Peter E. Ross