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July 2, 2008

Photobooth comes to Yountville

San Francisco photographer Christopher Irion brings his PhotoBooth Project to the Yountville Community Hall Thursday, July 10 from noon-7 p.m. and Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. People who live or work in Yountville are encouraged to visit the booth on one of those days.  Irion invites townspeople to “bring your sweetheart, your kids, your dogs” and sit for a portrait. As a way of recognizing the collaboration with each participant, everyone is sent a complimentary 5” x 7” print.  In addition, all the portraits will be included in a mural to be installed later this summer in front of the Bardessono Inn on Yount Street adjacent to the community hall.  The installation will be on view until November.

The PhotoBooth is a lightweight, portable studio that can be shipped anywhere in the world.  During the past three years, Irion has traveled over 8,000 miles and made over 2,000 portraits in communities across America.  The booth is set up at cafes, in parking lots, at county fairs and on sidewalks.

Irion then creates installations of the resulting portraits taken of a particular community or group.  A requirement of the project is that the installation occur in a place that is frequented by the community in its daily activities, with pedestrian access rather than in a place apart such as a gallery or community space.  Irion considers the projects to be about community and only secondarily about art.

Irion is motivated by the concept of community.  “I am interested in strengthening the ties of a community, by showing the group back to itself in a direct and democratic fashion with the idea that viewers can directly gaze on the faces of fellow citizens and have a moment to reflect on their relationship to one another.  The installation functions as a place to meet one’s neighbors as a town green might once have allowed, so as to share with others the gaze of the community,” he explains.

The Yountville PhotoBooth project and Picture Wall installation have been underwritten by the Bardessono Inn and Spa scheduled to open in February 2009.

Click here to view photos of the Bardessono Inn and Spa construction site on Flickr.

Posted by Pamela at July 2, 2008 10:52 AM| Share on Facebook | Non-wine activities in Napa Valley, The Bardessono

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