From our partner site Art Practical, today we bring you a photo essay from the recent theme issue On Collecting. This series of images is from Jill Miller‘s Collectors project, in which she “collected” notable Bay Area art patrons by taking surveillance photos of their activities, cars, houses, and public meetings. This article was originally published on February 6, 2014.
“Conversely, the act of collecting is itself an investigation of the ‘other,’ of the culture and ideas of artists, and involves a degree of voyeurism, curiosity, fascination, and consumption that crosses lines of class, culture, and status.”—Heather Snider, Focus Magazine, 2009.
After training for two months with a licensed private investigator, garnering multiple skills of the profession, San Francisco-based artist Jill Miller began her Collectors project. Using the surveillance and stakeout techniques she learned, Miller turned an eye toward the art world and spent six months undercover trailing some of the most low-key members of San Francisco’s art community, its collectors. She captured images of everything from their cars and houses to mingling at openings, shopping, and eating sushi. The bulk of her documentation, including video, photography, and text, culminated in an exhibition at [2nd floor projects] from November 2007–January 2008. Art Practical is delighted to be able to reproduce a selection of Miller’s photographs.