80/137 Faces tackles the complex issue of photographing teenagers during their tender years of transition from childhood to adulthood, struggling to find their own voice in the world. Obarzanek endeavours to capture the spirit and strength each person experiences as they travel through this period.
The image making process is lengthy, subjects must be completely still and look beyond the lens for a long time before the image is taken. Obarzanek waits until the subject's face finally becomes a displaced stare; only when the individual is subconsciously removed from their physical environment and the artist is able to capture the blank surface of the face, will he press down on the shutter. These faces, once photographed represent a universal strength in this vulnerable age group, rather than revealing something of the individual.
Selected participants, although often awkward or fragile, share physical similarities, their faces not yet heavily marked with time reveal naïve beauty and an innocence only found in youth. Detached from each other, the camera, and even the photographer in this intimate moment, they seem to be on the cusp; determined, looking ahead and moving towards independence.
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George St, Fitzroy Victoria 3065, Australia
+61 39417 1549
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Seven nights after dark