I saw some prints by Isaac Sachs the last time I was at Blue Sky – I think it was way back in March, for the opening of Zun Lee’s exhibition, Father Figure. A glance at the photographs indicated that the work was about humans in beautiful places in nature, “tourist attractions.” In his series Tourists, Sachs examines the relationship between the tourist and their environment. I love the starkness in the images, and the humor, and I find myself feeling what I think can best be described as shame. Since I started looking at and making a lot of my own photos about human behavior in the places we designate as “natural,” I feel so painfully self-aware that I almost never pose for a photo or take a selfie, or god forbid, an iPhone photo of my hand with a pretty drink in it. I used to always wonder if the photos being made en masse at such tourist locales would ever even be looked at, but that’s changed as social media has become so prevalent. I try to imagine what the act of photographing satisfies in the picture-taker, especially now that content on social media is fleeting by design. It’s such a trite remark but I want to know how many people believe, “If I didn’t take (and post) a picture, was I really there?”

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