In 1997, artist Paul Drucke began collecting photographs by going door to door in Milwaukee neighborhoods. So began A Social Event Archive
, which focuses on the Instamatic camera and the social occasions it captures. The archive assembles the photos in the order received, and contributors choose the content of their submissions (#450
, by Anonymous, pictured). "There has been an evolution in this project that has come about from having the guidelines left open for interpretation," Drucke said during installation, at Raleigh's LUMP Gallery, of a selection of the archive's photos. "If I had attempted to define 'social occasion' I would have come up with a much narrower range of photographs," he continued. "Leaving that decision to the contributors has produced a much more complicated take on the idea of the 'social occasion.'" One submitted photo is of an anonymous gravestone from the Civil War era. "It's a marker of another
marker of a social occasion of another sort," Drucke said. "Had I attempted to work that into a more specific definition I never would have got there." Viewers are encouraged to contribute a photo for the archive throughout the run of the show, which ends April 1. For a sampling of the archive's photos, visit www.asocialevent.com
. Call 821-9999 for details about the exhibition.