Personal Ethnography (1992)

In the early 1990s, I arranged for one of my friends, a photographer interested in ethnography (who had been studying ritual possession in Ghana), to have access to my apartment, in order to document my life as an ethnographic event. The result was fairly unnerving, because he did not hesitate to open drawers and closets and the medicine cabinet, and document what he found. Because I was complicit in this process, there was no way for it to function as an objective experience, but that was exactly the point. This fictive anthropology eventually turned, as I feel much ethnography does, toward the voyeuristic. The photographer's presence became ever more intrusive, as he documented me in the show, or taking a pee.  Personal Ethnography therefore ends with images of a highly ambiguous nature, shot through my bedroom window at night, where I appear to be having a three-way with two other men (one of them the partner of the photographer). (All photographs by R. Lane Clark.)