Framing my investigations as detective work, I stalk the filming sets of Chicago PD. These productions impose a second, fictive city on the physical landscapes of Chicago, which is centered around criminological narratives. Expounding on the culture of compulsive binge-watching, I exaggerate the voyeurism of spectatorship to discover how cinematic fiction is created, how it imposes on reality, and is consumed by the public.
In my studio, I invite aspiring actors currently working background predominantly on Chicago PD. There, we create their headshots and have conversations about the way they are represented on the show and their desires for representation in the future. I ask them, “who do you want to play?”. The collection of photographs that we make together are firstly for their own use to forward their own careers. The sessions are driven by their aspirations and personalities to create the photographs they want of themselves. This collaborative performance looks toward the background, bringing into focus the stories and desires of people that lend their labor to plotlines. To confront dominant narratives and representations reliant on gendered and racialized stereotypes, I bring together portraits, interviews, and photographic backdrops that reimagine our roles in this city and propose alternative stories for the screen.