Justin Cole


During the Spring of 2002, I studied abroad to Aix-en-Provence in France for a semester. The first work that I made there was Tour. The performance lasted for 1 roll of 24 frame film. When the box was placed on my head the performance started. When the film ran out, I was taken back to the studio where the box was taken off. While the box was on, I was not allowed to talk. I had a "tour guide" hold my hand and take me on a sensory trip of Aix. The "tour guide" was allowed to take me wherever he wanted and position me in whichever way he saw fit. He was only allowed to talk to me when there was an obstacle in the way. We were followed by the photographer documenting the event.

At first, the experience was very disconbobulating and odd. I lacked a good sense of balance via my eye sight being removed by the confines of the box. Eventually, I became more comfortable in my temporary "blind" position and my other senses began to heighten. The tour of the town became very physical, my sense of smell was particularly high, due to the fragrant nature of Provence. I smelled vividly the vegetable and fish markets. At points, I had a pretty good idea of where I was in the town, other times I was completely confused. Even upon seeing the developed film, some of the places I went I was familiar with, others to this day I still do not know visually where I was, but I know where I was via my body and nose.

The following photographs are the most iconic from the Tour.

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Untitled (Tour) I. C-Print. 30"x40". 2002.

Untitled (Tour) II. C-Print. 30"x40". 2002.

Untitled (Tour) III. C-Print. 30"x40". 2002.