Are You Really My Friend?
Sure, many of us have 1,000+ friends on Facebook – but are they actually our “friends”? Facebook has become a fundamental tool for connecting and staying in touch with friends, family and acquaintances all over the globe. Tanja Hollander, photographer and artist from Maine, set out to photograph and document how she knows every one of her 626 Facebook friends for a project titled “Are You Really My Friend? The Facebook Portrait Project“. The artist got to know them better along the way – probably better than we will ever get to know our endless list of friends!
On New Year’s Eve of 2010, I found myself sitting at my kitchen table, simultaneously writing a letter in pencil to a friend deployed in Afghanistan and instant messaging on Facebook a friend working on a film in Jakarta. I woke up in 2011 thinking a lot about friendship and relationships, and how we communicate with one another on- and off-line. On the one hand, the written letter has a tangibility that makes it seem more genuine and real, while on the other hand social networks provide an immediate way to be part of people’s lives all over the world.
Tanja has spent the past two years photographing her Facebook friends on her Great American Roadtrip and recounting her experience through exhibitions, talks and these fascinating portraits of her friends in their homes.
Interested in this project and want to see Tanja meet her friends abroad? Here’s how to help.
Eidos Tweet: If I wouldn’t wish you a happy birthday on Facebook, should I travel across the country to take your picture?