Vector Portraits

Andrew Bush

Until 22 December 1997

9 photographs. Variable measures

The long series of images made by Andrew Bush under the title Vector Portraits later became a book called Drive. The title accurately defines the content and the intention of the images: recording the act of driving, an act inevitably involving three different elements: driver, vehicle, speed. Andrew Bush made these photographs throughout a period of time of around ten years, travelling the roads of the American Southwest around Los Angeles. A territory and a city that are particularly significant in relation to car culture. To carry out his project, Bush placed a camera in the co-pilot window of his own car, recording the cars moving alongside his. In the captions of the images he described with precision who the driver was, the place, the date, the time and the speed. It is up to the spectator to draw conclusions: whether there is a relationship between a specific car model and a driver, between driver and speed, between the expression or the attitude and the speed. What Andrew Bush does is open a window to reflection and observation, synthesising in his photographs some of the vectors inherent to the act of driving. We could also define Vector Portraits as a work on landscape, a landscape as specific and characteristic as the road; or as a work about portraiture; or a reflection on the everyday. But, in turn, this body of work incorporates other elements worth commenting on. One of them is the definition of the road as an inhabited space. The other is the consideration of the interior of a car as a private space, a space of intimacy exposed in the wider public space, to which we can peep into with curiosity, interest, voyeurism or simply with the desire to exchange a gaze that is as intense as it is evanescent.