Todd R. Forsgren
Ornithological Photographs / The World is Round / Post-industrial Edens / Resume
Untitled Re:Iterations / An Imperfect Representation / Other Works / Order a Book

Staring at the Sky and the Screen
Dreaming of Other Celestial Bodies

Wondering What They're Looking at

Breaking Branches and Bending Grids
Measuring Half-lives on the Horizon

Artist's Statement

Tankman from Five Perspectives, 2016.

Jeff Widener was staying on the sixth floor of the Beijing Hotel in 1989, overlooking Tiananmen Square.
He was 800-meters away, on his balcony, from where a man stood fast in front of a column of tanks.
It culminated just as he was running out of film, but his friend Kirk handed him another roll of Fuji.

Stuart Franklin was on another balcony in the same hotel, pointing his camera at the scene below,
His lens not quite as telephoto; in his image we see other details, it looks like a pleasant public space.
To smuggle his film out, he gave it to a French student, it left China hidden in a box of tea.

Charlie Cole was next to Stuart Franklin, he hid his role in the toilet of the Beijing Hotel.
He sacrificed two rolls of film to the Chinese Public Security Bureau raided his hotel room looking for it.
One contained images of protests that had been beaten, the other was blank. Did the PSB develop it?

Arthur Tsang Hin Wah was in on another balcony at the Beijing Hotel, he was in Room 1111.
He had been beaten up the day before, and the PSB wouldn’t let him leave the room, he was stuck.
The day before, a photojournalists friend of his left, telling him, "I am not gonna die for your country."

Terril Jones on ground level, hiding behind a rack of bicycles. We see the faces of two other protestors.
His is the only image that is not from the seemingly omnipotent vantage point of an ‘eye in the sky.’
Yet his image of the event at Tiananmen Square didn’t surface until 20 years later, in 2009. Forgotten.