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Photo Essay: Suspension Photographs by Joshua MacDonald.

Photo Essay: Suspension

Actors in character in a familiar setting.

THE PROCESS OF ACTING creates complex states of identity within the performer: they split into a dual state of both themselves and the character they seek to represent. In “Suspension,” actors are photographed in this process of becoming someone other than themselves. Each actor was asked to choose a character and perform this character in their home, workplace or another familiar setting. Despite the the fact that these portraits are staged, they are in a sense documentary photographs.

These familiar settings are locations in which the actors connect with performance. The baroque theatricality of the lighting in these pictures refers to early paintings by artists such as Carravagio and Georges de La Tour that attempt to tell a story through chiaroscuro’s dramatic effect. When presented under this spotlight, the subjects resemble performers onstage. This evocative visual style combines with more contemporary environments, resulting in something that might be found ...

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