TODD HIDO: “Witness 7″ (2009)


April 14, 2010

There is a connectedness or a web that runs like electricity underneath the landscape of photography. The connections are like wires that tether one photographer to another… a shared blood line if you will. If you examine an individual who has made a mark, an imprint on the craft, you will find the “underneath”, the complex layers of history and relationships, of influence and extensions, of imprints on the psyche and the connections from others to the “self”.

As a parallel to life itself, we do not exist in a bubble but rather, we exist as a sponge, built to absorb and process that which makes us and that which breaks us. We share existence and we share persistence until we leave this place… and then the craters and scratches of our mark our left, to slowly dissipate or to firmly remain… as fragments on “the land”.

Witness 7, by Todd Hido, is an examination of our shared existence and its imprints but more importantly, the marks that are part of Todd, made by others left on his “self” and in turn, on us.

Broken into parts, the first section, foreclosed homes in the 1990’s explores the marks and connectedness that reflect our sense of “home”, Todd’s sense of “home”, the loss of “home” and the death of our dreams… Todd’s and ours. Home as an empty shell, what was to be, broken and left in tatters, pain and ghosts of what could have been, rather than what is to become. The volume then moves into the work of others, Todd’s connections, the imprints left on him by those come before. Leon Borensztein’s hammer hitting view of what happens outside of our pose, what is on the edges of our “smiling face”, image portraying falsehoods… an emblem if you will, of the real human versus the one that we want to show. Next comes a tour into Todd’s head, what has affected him, what he wants to see, what he finds special, what marks him. Look at the final section as the imprints on Todd. A visual “stew” on the brewing that goes on inside of a man.

This is one to own… and one to come back to…

A special one.


I will attempt to prevent letting anything come to ASX that does not make for impact in some way. Understand that ultimately “concept” means nothing without a measure of impact (impact can of course, be many things)… concept means nothing without scars or shine, marks and humanistic subtext. If you fail to tap into the connectedness and the web “underneath” us all, if you miss “the complex language” and focus only on the aesthetic or conversely, if you focus only on the intellectual and miss the aesthetic, the work will sit on the surface and fade into nothing. It and you will never leave an imprint on the craft, or leave a mark on yourself. The “intellect” and “the language” must be intertwined and the work must then manipulate those things into its own special thread. A thread that is then tapped into by others as history and the road ahead join in the never ending cycle of human connectedness.


Doug Rickard

BOOKS: Todd Hido

* A Road Divided (2010)
* Witness Number 7 (2009)
* Between the Two (2006)
* House Hunting (2007)
* Roaming (2005)
* Outskirts (2002)


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