Samuel stayed here in September, 2014. He had been hard at work combing through the hundreds of photographs he’d taken on slide film during a trip to the northwestern United States and Canada in the summer. For the central event of the salon, which we called Northwestern and Other Chromes, Samuel organized a slideshow for both 35 mm and 120 mm slide projectors. Guests assembled in the living room, and Samuel provided a loose narration, answering questions as they arose. Some viewers, sensing a narrative underpinning, wanted to know who, what, where; others, focused on the formal aspects of the images glowing on the screen, found such questions strange and distracting.
Another 35 mm slide projector was running in the bathroom, automatically spooling through a selection of other photographs by Samuel and projecting them onto the shower curtain. Kaleidoscopic candies in the kitchen recalled the photographs’ brightest colors.
As guests arrived, they were asked to take numbered tickets. These tickets were for the private finale of the public Northwestern Chromes presentation. After concluding the slideshow in the living room, Samuel prepared to begin a private slideshow, changing from a woolen Pendleton suit into a woolen Pendleton bathrobe. Guests were invited one by one, according to their ticket number, to join Samuel in the master bedroom, where he awaited them with a glass of scotch and another 35 mm projector. Samuel invited each guest to join him on the bed, and then offered them a glass of Oban and a single projected image. Upon leaving the bedroom, guests were asked to report what they saw in a guestbook.
Though Samuel often works in traditional photographic prints, no prints or static images were available during the salon. If a viewer wanted to linger over an image, she had to fix it in her memory. Everyone paid close attention.
Photographs are by E.T. Miller unless otherwise noted.
A few photographs presented:
For more photographs by Samuel Lang Budin, see the artist’s website.