A 36 YEARS RECORDING OF LIFE
Every month Frigo takes eight head-shots of new acquaintances. He then manually removes the background of each portrait using an image editor. The process of background extraction is done every day for about 10 minutes and it takes approximately three days to complete a head. The resulting portraits are vectorized and printed on a 300 by 900 millimeter panel. The panels representing one month are then placed on a column of 11,600 by 600 millimeters. At the end of the project, in 2040, the final installation will comprise of 12 columns, each column displaying 72 panels corresponding to three years work and a total of 288 new acquaintances which is a grand total of 3456 faces staring at the viewer from every corner.
Frigo initially started the project by making a painted portrait of his new acquaintances. He did so also to vary the kind of technique he adopted for this work in relation to the others. After consulting with James Cohan Gallery art dealer Arthur Solway in Shanghai, Frigo switched to photography. The first photographs were taken of his new Chinese friends and fully filled the oval mask that Frigo uses when extracting the background of each headshot. The verticality of the project also borrows from Chinese culture.
The resulting columns of faces act like totems staring at the viewer. The work in itself is similar to August Sander's "People of the 20th Century". As in the German photographer's work, Frigo's work marks the end of an epoque in which the photographer's free roaming and documenting ceases by increasing political and social turmoil in which the people photographed might cease to exist. To some extent then the work is a collection of Dead Souls, a Zarthustra-like encounter with people retaining different social positions, faiths and points of view and yet are potential victims of modern transformations.