Talena Sanders
2:30 Portraits, Greensboro
2:30 Portraits was begun during an artist residency in Greensboro, NC. Every Friday and Saturday night for 6 months, I stood outside of an arts center in downtown Greensboro at 2:30AM (last call) and asked people on the streets to let me shoot their portrait. An exploration of hip hop and club fashion in a mid-size southern town, while also examining the performance of posing for a portrait in the era of digital photography and social media. (2010)

Exhibition History
Out of Fashion, curated by Steven Maticjio, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, 2011

Reflecting on this project in 2015, I now know that I would have approached this idea differently. In this attempt, I did not adequately deal with issues of race, and of my own sense of entitlement to access these experiences and this community. At the time, I did not understand the reality of white privilege, which is something I am still working to understand fully. A curiosity and desire to poke at and trouble my own relationship with the predominantly black hip hop club culture that passed by the predominantly white artist residency and museum where I was living was at the heart of this project. I was troubled that these two groups felt so distant from each other, that there was little to no cross over despite the physical proximity of the club and the museum. I attempted to get under the surface of that tension, but did not address these issues in any direct way, which I now believe is necessary in such a project. I present the project here on my website as an archive of a process of growth and development in my documentary practice.
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