People taking photos via their new or old cell phones is practically the norm in this day and age, and more and more people are viewing almost all of their experiences in life through the prism of a cell phone camera – including visiting art galleries and appreciating their contents. Hence the decision made by New York Times photographer Ruth Fremson to do her own little art project – which consisted of taking photographs of other people taking cell phone photographs during the Venice Biennale.
Only a couple of the people caught in Fremson’s photos were taking their own photographs with traditional cameras, with the great majority using either mini cameras or cell phones. Cameras in art galleries and exhibitions seems to be ubiquitous, with many seeing it as a bad thing – an example of art becoming just another photo opportunity for people and not much more besides – but with others seeing the phenomenon as a way of being able to collect, connect to and participate in experiences that would otherwise be fleeting.
Taking photographs of other people taking photographs is certainly a rather unusual idea for a photo collection, and some may be wondering just where it might end. In a few years time, will we be seeing exhibitions of photos of people taking photographs of other people taking photographs of people taking photographs? This is one onion that could end up having more than a few layers to peel.