Bunking up with Bob Hardy: Musician's unconventional selfies


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The Independent Culture

Since 2005, Franz Ferdinand bassist Bob Hardy has taken 325 photos of himself in hotel rooms whilst on tour.

His collection of snaps, each showing him lying or sitting on a hotel bed with a book obscuring his face, are not your average pop-star selfies. He sets up a Canon G10 on a timer just before he leaves the hotel room to check out, so that the room is tidy. “I spend more nights in hotels than at home in a year,” says Hardy. “I do a little bit of clearing up, make the bed, pack my bags, and then take the photo.”

The photograph which started off his series was taken in 2005 at the Mondrian Hotel in LA, when Franz Ferdinand played at the Grammys. In this photo he is sitting on the bed and the room is strewn with clothes. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the more impersonal shots.

“The touring lifestyle is so transient that I wanted to document where I’d been,” he explains. “I’ve always taken a lot of photographs but never with the intention of showing them, more as references for other work or just for documentation.” He admits that he does not like having his photograph taken, so he covers his face with a kindle, magazines or books, including in one photo, Noam Chomsky’s Interventions. “The whole glamorous rock star cliché is so ridiculous – these photos are the anti of that.”


Hardy graduated from the painting department at Glasgow School of Art in 2003. A few months later, Franz Ferdinand’s second single, “Take Me Out”, became a hit. Although Hardy paints landscapes in his limited spare time, taking these photos requires “little effort”. “I wanted to do something that wasn’t the band,” he says. Hardy wants to hold photographic shows, having enjoyed exhibiting these photos in Glasgow last week. “It wasn’t particularly nerve-wracking. I’m used to playing gigs and there’s so much more that can go wrong during a live performance than there is during an exhibition.”


Franz Ferdinand tour the UK from 14 to 27 March (www.franzferdinand.com)