Remember 'First Kiss'? 'Touching Strangers' is its creepy cousin
Photographer asked strangers to touch as though they were well-acquainted
It says something about our alienation from each other in modern society that there's such a wealth of art being made about strangers actually having some form of interaction lately, the latest being a series of photographs showing strangers touching or embracing as though they are familiar with one another.
Photographer Richard Renaldi has been touring the US since 2007 pairing strangers and photographing them with an 8-by-10 view camera, and has now compiled a book of his favourite images taken in Albuquerque, Chicago, New York City, southern California and more.
According to a Kickstarter used to fund the book, "Renaldi’s objective was to introduce an unpredictable variable into a traditional photographic formula, and to create spontaneous and fleeting relationships between complete strangers.
"The portraits are extremely difficult to make, involving complex negotiations with the participants that push them past comfort levels, into a physical intimacy normally reserved for loved ones or friends.
"Touching Strangers creates intimate and ephemeral relationships that exist only for the moment of the photograph.
"The images are beautiful and strange, crossing out of the zones of safe physical intimacy with strangers and into deep emotional landscapes never photographed before."
The project follows the 'First Kiss' video from Tatia Pilieva that went viral earlier this year and saw complete strangers asked to kiss passionately on camera.
Chris Boot, executive director of Aperture, the book's publisher, said: "We think these great photographs have something positive to say about human connection . . . about a diverse society in which people have been taught not to touch each other but in which we can and do transcend the boundaries set around us."
Given the subjects' lack of connection, it is often the photographs in which they look the most comfortable that are the most resonant.
Renaldi's work is ongoing, with the photographer asking people around the world to contribute their pictures using the #TouchingStrangers hashtag.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 Fifa corruption arrests: Nike reported to be 'multinational sportswear company' at centre of bribery claims over Brazil shirt deal
- 3 Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
- 4 Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer to keep her job after vote of no confidence petition fails
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
Grace of Monaco film panned: Screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman as movie gets US debut
Big Brother contestant Aaron Frew removed from house for 'inappropriate behaviour' after flashing fellow contestants
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
ASAP Rocky gives nauseating response to explicit Rita Ora rap: 'I'm not saying she's a terrible person'
San Andreas 3D, film review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's disaster movie has clear fault lines
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote