Often funny, surprising and touching, intimate scenes on old color slides: the Anonymous Project is one of the largest colorful slide collections – an artistic endeavor giving new life to forgotten memories.
The Anonymous Project started out in 2017, when filmmaker Lee Shulman bought a random box of vintage slides and he fell completely in love with the people and stories he discovered in these unique windows in to our past lives. The unique color slides collected from the last 70 years are as a matter of fact preserving our collective memory: these amateur, personal photographs are the journal-like imprints of the given era. A collection of moments that could become familiar for all of us, oddly.
“Family is very important, especially now. Not just your family in a strict sense, but the idea that all of us form a big family. As I looked at these pictures I realized that it doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from, we’ll share the same experiences. We have a lot more in common than one would think: we are different yet still the same – the idea of the universal family forms a very important part of this project“– Lee told us.
“Today I am much more fascinated by how we interact with a picture than how we make it. I am a filmmaker and so I take a lot of pictures, which I also treasure very much, but I think instead of making loads of pictures, sometimes we should slow down and think about how we should interact with a given picture“– he continued.
A trip to the beach, family or friendly gatherings, a kissing couple on the sofa – the moments captured on color slides all breathe a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
“What makes these color slides truly particular is that the majority of the people portrayed by them looks into the camera, that is the person who took the photo – they have a close relationship with that person. Thus the moment of taking the photo is a very intimate moment between the two parties, making these captured memories so emotionally charged: this is what make them truly fascinating and honest for me” – he highlighted.
“One of my favorite slides portrays a Hungarian boy from the seventies. He has a ball under his arm, in a very strong and proud pose, with a deep look in his eyes” – he added.
Several exhibitions and books have been made of the collection consisting of 800,000 pictures already. The latest exhibition of The Anonymous Project titled This is England focuses on England, presenting the British photos of the collection from a very personal angle owing to Lee’s origins. The exhibition is open at La galerie du jour agnès b. in Paris until November 22.
The good news for slide-fans is that after Midcentury Memories published by Taschen, a new book will also be available soon in stores under the title When we were young, following once again the themes of This is England.