The idea behind the “Sorted” project stems from my interest in the multi-dimensionality of people and their personalities as well as our desire to categorize individuals. Through use of black and white photographs, I reference the human tendency to overlook more complicated areas by characterizing peers in definitive, but are hardly ever accurate, ways. This is also emphasized by the framing of each individual person in each photograph using prominent black lines, literally placing the people into clearly defined boxes to preserve the comfort of not knowing about anything below the surface-level. These boxes also reference the tagging feature in various social media applications, which captures a person’s identity using their representation in a photograph or post.
My aim is to draw attention to how absurd such simplicity is in relation to the multitude of experiences, all completely unique, which make up any given person’s history. I believe there is an unfortunate inclination to judge each other based on appearances or singular interactions, but neither of these methods could ever reflect on a person holistically. How can we know that the smile one uses to make a positive first impression doesn’t hide some sort of insecurity? Is every person going through life with a mask on, pretending to be something they aren’t and genuinely believing that every other person is just who they appear to be? Through this project, I hope to encourage conversation about and consideration of a societal trend which superficially confines human beings, holding them to unreasonable standards of behavior and presentation.