The 1st version was a window installation shown at FOUR A.M. New York
The 2nd version is this website
The 3rd version will be at Gibellina, festival international di fotografia open air
The 4th version will be a solo exhibition at Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City
Kruithof began this project by questioning how to create an anonymous portrait, where the subject’s identity remains private. By capturing the back of the head, one cannot recognize gender, nationality, age, facial expressions or emotion. Removing all of these features which are so often included in indexes within the tradition of portrait photography, unifies all of the portraits. It is important to Kruithof that facial recognition systems are unable to identify or verify a person’s identity from these photos.
Anonymity is central to this project and AHEAD shows a failure in the human encyclopedic tendency by means of anti-labeling and anti-classification. For this installation, the artist processed the images by their color values, which enforces the mixture of the different people depicted, having the opposite effect for example, of organizing and archiving by date and location.
The entire collection of photos are 1,080 in total and together it appears as if made up of individual dots, like pixels making up an image. Each photograph is taken with an iPhone, the subject choosing their background color as they would when taking a selfie, facing the background instead of posing in front of it. Kruithof then arranges these photos into a grid, the way digital photographs are organized on our devices (think of Instagram), a now common way we view archives of images. The website (version #2), developed by Jakub Straka demonstrates an algorithm which scans and orders the photos by their color values through automated reasoning. Kruithof develops site-specific installations out of the accumulation of portraits, which can be seen as versions.