It had been quite a while since I’d done a portrait project, so when I finished Suburb, that’s what I decided to do: shoot some portraits. Initially I thought the project might be of/about young women. I don’t really understand them (as if I really understand anything) and one of the main reasons I initiate a project is to try to learn about the subject. So I began.

Then one of the initial images kind of knocked me for a loop. It was, nominally, a portrait, but it also seemed to be about something else. Or, to put it more accurately, it made me think something besides “portrait” or “young woman”.

click images to enlarge

So there I was with this photo that seemed to be trying to tell me something, seemed to be a signpost pointing somewhere. . . somewhere
I had no previous thought of going. But where was it pointing?

Time for a rethink.

And what I thought (and felt) was that the image reminded me somehow of the future, if you can be “reminded” of things that haven’t yet happened. For the next 5 or 6 months that was my working premise . . . to find the future. Of course, photographing the future is not possible in any literal way. But, as William Gibson says, “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed”.

So I began looking for and photographing slivers of the present that represent the future I was imagining. And I was imagining repression and regression, a changing climate, increasing uncertainty and fear.

Working title: The Future.

But that working title became too problematic for my tastes. It was so descriptive, too proscriptive. I was vexed. Then a new title (or, perhaps, premise) came to me, a new way of thinking about the photos I was taking, and the project morphed again. It has become more complex, more nuanced and more flexible, a (slightly) different can of worms.

What seemed to be a path forward has changed into something less defined. What that is and where it leads me is to be determined. But I’m determined to find out and looking forward to the trip. The future is unwritten.
Thank you for your time

Author: Tony Fouhse

Tony is an Ottawa-based photographer.