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I was struck by the amount of attendees who declined having their photograph taken, including some who remarked that they did not want their likeness associated with this event due to having “sensitive friends” or searching for a new job.

I realized that I should have asked those who declined if their rationale was simply an exaggeration, given that it was described by the organizers as just an “art event,” or if the fear of being associated with a transgressive space was actually justified. If the latter, doesn’t it seem like the “anti” institution is more important than ever?

If we are afraid to even have a photograph taken at an event that could be seen as a collective response to the currently socially accepted, yet illiberal, set of boundaries that the artist “must” work within, isn’t there something wrong with that? And kind of the exact reason to be interested in an event like this to begin with? Perhaps that is naïve to think when there is less at stake as the observing photographer, as opposed to the attending audience.

I left the event wondering if having my name credited with the images might come back to bite me. But then I thought, fuck it—why can’t I take pictures? 

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