Weekend Humor isn’t supposed to be taken seriously. So don’t.
Late last month, Trent Janssen was unanimously rejected by the panel of jurors at an exhibition in MoMA PS1. The exhibition was designed to feature new photographers with an optional competition should they have decided to have their work judged. Trent thought he could enter the exhibition by claiming that his thoughts qualify as photographs. The judges flatly said, “No.” We at the Phoblographer reached out to Trent to hear his side of the story. Head on past the break for an exclusive interview.
JM: So, you’re a hipster?
TJ: To answer that would be self-defeating. I’m on the edge of avant-garde.
JM: Okay. Tell me about the exhibition.
TJ: Well, I heard about it from my flatmate, Zev. Something about new photographers, and since I had just recently taken up photography, I thought I would enter.
JM: We’re big on gear here at the Phoblographer. What do you shoot with?
TJ: My mind. (EIC Chris Gampat gets up and leaves.)
JM: Your mind?
JM: Care to explain?
TJ: Well, you know, all of those photographers are so, you know, mainstream with their DSLRs and lenses, and I didn’t want to go along with that. And, like, I see things with my eyes all the time, so obviously I’m recording images. There was one day when a friend and I were listening an Arcade Fire vinyl, and there was a can of PBR next to the record player, and I thought, “This image is so interesting.” That’s when I realized my head is like a camera.
JM: And you thought that could get you into the exhibition?
TJ: Yes because it’s so so innovative, you know? My thoughts are photographs, except they’re better than actual photographs because they don’t harm the environment. They’re all in my head.
JM: How did you plan on presenting your work to the judges?
TJ: I would have described it to them.
JM: Okay. Well, uh, why don’t you “show” me one of your images?
TJ: Yeah, totally. Okay, so picture this. There’s a urinal on its side.
JM: Are you saying one of your photographs is Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain”?
TJ: Yes. No. It isn’t because, you know, I actually saw that, and recorded it with my mind camera. My photograph is so much more, you know, avant-garde. Duchamp didn’t do what I did.
JM: No, Trent, I’m sure he did see it in his mind before executing it, and then you know what happened? Alfred Stieglitz photographed it.
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