Artist's Statement

Farras Abdelnour

Medium: digital infrared photography. Image size: Approx 40” x 27”

The series captures people in Grand Central from all walks of life. The visitors are shooting selfies, eager to post the images on their social networks, commuters are anxious to be home with their loved ones. As the commuters and the visitors walk through crisp and well defined shafts of infrared radiations bouncing off the surrounding buildings, unknowingly spotlighted, otherworldly smooth and highly contrasty shapes lacking texture are revealed. Clues to the person’s state of mind and emotions are uncovered.

Shooting in infrared highlights and isolates the subjects. Their facial expression suggest, give hints of, state of mind, a story to tell. I am intrigued by capturing their emotions, their body language, the trajectory their arms draw. All the while I make sure the subject appears in the image with no context, isolated. The monochromatic nature of the images and helps the viewer focus only on the traveler’s or visitor’s state of mind clues.

I keep with the light shaft as the sun goes on its daily ritual. The light projection changes in shape from wide and squarish to narrowish and long. The shooting is almost over, and I’m eager to go home and feed the cats.

I consider myself a minimalist. John Cage's conceptual work 4'33" is an important source of inspiration, as is my mathematics background, with its reductive demand for elegance and simplicity. Minimalism is additionally a rationale for choosing monochromatic style, which is inherent to the particular infrared wavelength I have chosen to shoot at.

By necessity, the project requires unobstructed sunlight, and typically shot in the afternoon. This is a seasonal project in that the sunlight (and its infrared component) angle is such that images are best captured between late spring and early autumn. Capturing the passengers in a unique state of mind, I aim at creating a dreamscape, unique to each image and each subject.