I'M THERE NOT NOW pushes the boundaries of portrait photography by declaring that a portrait is something beyond an artist's ability to replicate a person's likeness. Moving away from pure physicality allows one to consider the other components that represent an individual's unique characteristics. Factors of time and space, specific objects, and physical location also have the ability to reflect a person's essence creating another type of portrait; one where the actual person must not be in the frame.
The show's title, I'M NOT THERE NOW, derives from the film I'm Not There (Haynes, 2007) and the book Be Here Now (1971). In the movie, Bob Dylan is portrayed throughout by six very different actors demonstrating how a portrait must not be fixed to a realistic ideal. The viewer is always aware that the different actors are meant to be Dylan because his inherent qualities are displayed in each of the six characters. By taking away the visual it is possible to see that physical features are not the only elements that constitute an individual.
Be Here Now, the famous book about spirituality by Ram Dass, details Eastern thoughts on meditation. Namely, how to live inside a moment and have awareness of our surroundings. It relates to portraiture in the sense that it expounds on the idea that each moment is unique and part of our being. Therefore, a portrait can be read as a story of an individual at a particular moment in time, a moment that continues to exist and be accessed through its documentation.
Portraiture, when viewed apart from solely a person's image, is an opportunity for contemplation of who we are and what make us so. Portraits can be an invitation to be aware of a moment and to try and understand who we are in that particular time and space. I'M THERE NOT NOW asks the viewer to experience these images, not just look at them, and to realize we can be where we once were, we are just not there now.