PanSuriya Art Post


An Afternoon at the “Doctor’s Office”

I had heard about Abby Robinson’s body imaging project and knew that I wanted to go check it out, both to get photographed and to see what others had chosen to photograph of themselves. I was curious to see what patterns would emerge in the choices people made about showing off their bodies, especially in such a public place.

PhotosPansuriya

I stopped by Pansuriya early in the afternoon and was quickly handed a clipboard to fill out by the attendant “nurse”. The form asked me basic questions, including my preferred name and email address, before asking several questions about how many times I had been photographed recently and how I felt about being photographed.

I was told that there were several people ahead of me in line, and so I ordered lunch while I waited and checked out the wall displaying the photographs taken so far. Many people had chosen parts of their faces; features that they are already used to showing to the world. A few people had chosen their hands, posing them to accentuate the fingers or wrists. Occasionally, people had photographed an interesting piercing or tattoo, choosing to display the various ways that they had modified their bodies.

AbbyPansuriya

I was soon called into the “office”: an area separated from the restaurant by several white sheets. I handed my clipboard to Abby, dressed in a doctor’s white coat, and we discussed what body part I wanted photographed. I chose my left shoulder, which is covered with a smattering of dark freckles, and Abby led me into another ‘room’, which was set up as a studio. She adjusted the lighting and fiddled with her camera, angling for a more high-contrast shot. The results were automatically uploaded to her computer, where she was able to skillfully edit them as I watched. The photos were then printed onto two sheets, which Abby placed into lanyards. One, I got to keep, but the other I taped onto the wall, where it is hanging amidst a growing constellation of other people’s chosen body parts.

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