Sunday, March 6, 2011

FOUND Photobooth

FOUND Photobooth is a new 10 week series showcasing my favourites from my photobooth collection along with my narrative interpretation of them. I’ll update the blog every Sunday. Feel welcome to leave comments of your own observations!

I found this strip of photos on the floor of a photobooth in West Edmonton Mall in the summer of 2010. This is what I see:

The girl, Jenny, is 17 years old and tries to maintain a sunny disposition. Her t-shirt that reads “Dream of Sunshine” is not unique in her wardrobe. Jenny and Tom, the boy, have been friends since childhood. Their mother’s met at church when they were toddlers and arranged many play dates. Jenny and Tom grew up as close friends but the dynamic of their friendship changed when they began at the same high school. She is in jazz band and taking two foreign language classes. He is an amateur smoker but still does not consider himself too cool for school dances. They only nod or smile at each other in the hallways but still spend the occasional weekend or evening together.

As their grade 11 year was coming to a close, one night Tom kissed Jenny in his basement. He also touched her breasts a little. They never spoke of the moment but they both thought of it often. This created a quickly
escalating awkward tension. After the incident, whenever Tom caught himself saying something flirtatious to Jenny, he ‘corrected’ it by then saying something hurtful, which was easy with his knowledge of her insecurities.

When Jenny saw the photobooth in the mall she imagined tucking her half of the photos in the frame of her mirror, this delighted her. She inserted the coins before they had negotiated the seating arrangement. Tom felt it was only appropriate that she sit on his lap. Jenny interpreted his insistence not as a romantic gesture but as a mockery of her weight. Once the photos were developed, made upset by the reality they presented, Jenny discarded them to the booth floor. Tom followed her as she walked off.

(click strip to view detail)

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