I want to get more life, more people, more time, and more truth into my photographs. Photography, with its ability to record everything in front of the lens, is just a start. Selected People is is inspired by surveillance photography, Walker Evans’s hidden-camera subway portraits, and P.L. diCorcia’s “Head” series. Each relies on a camera that waits for its subjects to come into view. My work also looks at city life from a fixed position, but each of my images captures about an hour’s time and is a composite of hundreds of exposures. To do this, I put the camera on a tripod, and take hundreds of pictures as people pass by. Back in the studio, I choose what to leave in and make no other alterations. The process mirrors the way the mind focuses attention on one thing but not another. A person thinking about photography, for example, tends to notice people with cameras over those without. This kind of selection allows me to take objective facts–the faces and bodies of people on the street–and make something new and more subjective out of them, simply by sorting them. Above all, I want to show a surprising world that is visible only with a camera.
Pelle Cass has presented solo shows at the Houston Center for Photography; Gallery Kayafas, Boston; Stux Gallery, Boston; Frank Marino Gallery, NYC; the Griffin Museum of Photography; and the Fogg Art Museum’s print room. His work is in the collections of the Fogg Art Museum, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Polaroid Collection, the DeCordova Museum, the Danforth Museum of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Lehigh University Art Galleries, among others. He was a Winner: Top 50, Critical Mass, Photolucida, Portland, OR, in 2008 and 2009, was awarded fellowships by the Corporation of Yaddo in 2010 and 2012, and won an Artist’s Resource Trust Award (Berkshire Taconic Foundation) in 2012. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.