‘Flash Portraits’ is a 5 channel video installation by Orson Heidrich. Through video and the moving image he explores the modern state of portraiture and how it is affected by a contemporary shift from static to kinetic imagery.
The work consists of traditional portrait structures captured on high definition digital video. These poses are then intersected by a set of high speed studio light flashes. This action serves to physically interrupt the sitter. These conditions are applied and then observed in slow motion enabling the subject's reactions to be completely measured. This revealing the micro-expressions and gestures previously hidden beneath their neutrality.
Here a dualism of mediums is realised, showing the ability of photographic and videographic styles, to smoothly transition amongst each other. Facilitated by modern image capturing capabilities. Flash Portraits uses this to play with a contradiction around the ‘decisive moment’. This contradiction being, the video depicts the literal action of trying to encapsulate a moment in a digital form, e.g a photograph. However by the pure nature of this work’s medium, it instantly nullifies the base action of photographic practice; the capturing and encapsulating of a singular, static ‘moment’.
This work explores the dynamicism of durational images and their ability to break the fourth wall, to achieve a grander representation of a subject. The work aims to explore notions of representation, and the perceived inherent falsity within portraiture. As well as exploring where photographic and static portraiture sits within a modern, rapidly changing, digitally orientated society.