Last week the MA Photography course at London College of Communication impressed as the students put on their final exhibition for the course. The high level of work in this year’s show, upholds the reputation the course has maintained over the years, with the projects ranging from still image, video and installation. One of the students showcasing her work at the postgraduate show was San Francisco born photographer, Andrea DiCenzo, with her project titled ‘Missed’. Using the ‘Missed Connections’ section on personals website, Craigslist.com as inspiration, DiCenzo has taken tightly cropped portraits of the anonymous posters from those living in London and New York.
The results are an intimate yet disjointed snapshot of each person. When displayed the Craigslist posts (shown below) are presented underneath each image, to illustrate the human aspect behind these types of websites. It can be easy to disconnect the relationship between the words we see on screen and the person that typed them. What Andrea’s work does is reminds us of this and humanizes the whole concept. With increased use of social media and online platforms it seems more and more people are seeking out the momentary objects of their desires. Here, Andrea explains to us her inspiration for the project and whether any of the people she photographed found their ‘Missed Connection’.
Dazed Digital: How have you enjoyed the MA course?
Andrea DiCenzo: The course has been amazing. I think one of the best things of going to a school like this is the other people on the course and how much inspiration you get from them by just being around so many different projects and ideas. It leads you in directions that you never expected to be led in.
DD: Can you explain the inspiration for your final show and how you developed the work?
Andrea DiCenzo: It actually came through a conversation that I had with another artist in San Francisco (which is where I’m from). She’s grew up in London but now resides in San Francisco, we were talking about connectivity and how when you live in big cities you just have so many opportunities to run into people and what those experiences are like. We kind of got into a bit of a debate about it because I was saying you run into more people here in London than you do in San Francisco and she said ‘well look at Craigslist, let’s look at this connection’. And that’s what’s led me onto this journey to explore this link.
DD: In terms of the images how did you connect the photos that you have with the stories?
Andrea DiCenzo: Well they’re portraits of the individuals that made posts. So they posted anonymously on Craigslist and then I contacted them and told them what I was doing and encouraged them to Google me you know, just so they knew I wasn’t some complete freak! There were a lot of people that got back to me that were interested in the project and so then I set up a meeting with an assistant and we’d have coffee and talk about their experiences on Craigslist and posting online. Some of the stories are pretty amazing as well.
DD: Had anyone ever found their ‘miss connection’?
Andrea DiCenzo: No one that I’ve taken pictures of, but I do know that has happened!
DD: So how did you approach creating the images? They’re quite tight shots, what was your thinking behind that?
Andrea DiCenzo: Originally what I wanted was to do environmental portraits, so after I’d met them we went to their house and I took portraits inside their home. But then it wasn’t really about the reveal of this individual, that wasn’t what was important. It was more that I just wanted to bring out humanity and how human these images/these people are in my process. And this whole idea of a missed connection, I think it’s so human yet it’s fragmented in this strange way as well. So I ended up doing the crops once I had taken the picture, what I felt that was most interesting in the image.
DD: So what other photography have you done before this or have you always focused on people?
Andrea DiCenzo: I’ve always done portraiture but it’s interesting because I never really realised this until this course that I’ve always worked in kind of fragmentations of portraits because I think it’s too simple to just take a picture of a person, so it’s kind of trying to play in the grey area of what else is going on.
DD: What’s next for you? Do you know what you’re going to do after the course?
Andrea DiCenzo: Yeah I’m actually continuing to do this project in San Francisco so I’m only going to be there for 2 months before I make it back to London.
01. Black woman who does post-production for Discovery Channel
Sorry for the super-specific headline, but I wanted to be sure it caught your attention. Thank you for helping me find the pub on Foley St. a couple days ago. You were really sweet, quite pretty, and we share a common interest in video production. In case you helped several people find Foley St. that day, I was the American one
02. Heathrow 23 July 2002 - w4m - 40 (Terminal 3 Air Canada Flight)
I waited for you this July 23st just incase you were able to make it. I have posted messages for you on missedconnections.com and Craig'slist Ottawa so I hope you get one of them.
I am yours forever.
03. To the cute guy who served me at the one stop shop just now
I couldn't get enough of your eyes and your swishiness and as I walked away delighted from our flirtation I kicked myself that I hadn't pounced…
04. ............you missed good waffles
05. Cinnamon - w4m - 22 (Old Street)
I'm saying it here to stop myself from saying it to you. Things developed quickly and I let myself get caught up in it. That was a mistake. Now you've dropped off the face of the earth and I miss... whatever it was. But I've never been one to dote on a guy, especially one who is either trying to make it clear he's not into me or is just incredibly unreliable. Either way- I'm out. Thanks for reminding me that I should be living my life, not waiting for it to begin. I hope you find your last kiss.
06. dimt - Charlotte Street - m4w - 35 (London)
The odds on you seeing this are small but its worth a try. I came in to this restaurant at about 9:30pm with a friend of mine. You were sitting at the back of the restaurant, next to us, and possibly on a date. You clearly looked bored and I really wanted to speak with you but that would have been very uncool to him. Anyway, you are a tall, thin brunette who was wearing a very nice sun dress. I had my back to your table but kept turning around and you smiled at me when I left which made me melt. Really hope you just happen to see this. Thanks!
07. Bond st gal avoiding smoker - m4w
This is probably a long shot, but we were walking in opposite directions down Oxford St and you cleverly avoided a smoker exhaling, when we made eye contact and shared a very intimate smile.
Reply with what you were wearing.
08. Your thighs weren't fat - m4w (London)
Hello. You were on the train to Waterloo with a female friend on Tues 5th in the evening. You were talking about how fat your thighs were and how disgusting it was, and how you couldn't get jeans to fit. Well just to let you know, I was sitting on the other side of the aisle and I think you're being hard on yourself. You have fine thighs and a fine body. In fact I think you were a fine looking woman generally.
09. Pleasuredrome 22nd September - m4m - 38 (North London)
You're a gorgeous muscular young man from Barcelona.
You're so passionate and sexual and you really turned me on.
Still remembering your beautiful kisses.
We had a long steamy session in one of the dimly lit rooms.
Would love to see you whenever you are London again.
I remember your first name.
Mention it if you respond to this notice.