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Elizabeth Heyert, The Outsider

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Known for her unconventional approach to portrait photography, most notably her classic trilogy The Sleepers, The Travelers, and The Narcissists, American fine art photographer Elizabeth Heyert again assumes her role as observer and voyeur in The Outsider (Damiani, October 2017), her latest series, made in China in 2014-2016. Heyert discovered a modern, technology driven country where everywhere she went people were shooting pictures of each other with cameras, smart phones or iPads. The rituals of Chinese amateur photographers fascinated her. They seemed to shoot incessantly, often with family members looking on and directing, and with an intimacy with their environment that borders on stagecraft. In 2014, I embarked on a project to photograph the Chinese taking photographs of each other. The rituals of Chinese amateur photographers fascinated me. They shoot incessantly, often with family members looking on and directing, and with an intimacy with their environment that borders on stagecraft. During the next two years, I traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou, often wading through enormous crowds to uncover and photograph private moments between people who were strangers to...

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