The lead in Hido’s implied narrative is a model and actress named Khrystyna Kazakova with whom he has collaborated with over the years. A versatile performer with a chameleon-like ability to transform into several different women, it’s clear why this relationship has continued. Most interestingly, she appears here in 60’s period garb as a hitchhiker. Untitled #10574-a, for instance, is taken from the driver’s-seat perspective, as if Hido had positioned himself as an off-camera character. Kazakova leans in on the passenger side as if to cajole a ride and perhaps something more. The setup recalls something Diane Arbus said: “In movies we always surrender to the fiction being presented; in photographs we always see the photo as a relationship between the subject and the photographer.” All of Hido’s photos, but especially those with Kazakova, assert this dynamic: We are drawn into a fictional world but also reminded that this world is constructed – by Hido and by his subject — in intimate situations. Although these pictures obviously recall Cindy Sherman’s work, especially the famous Untitled Film Stills, Hido’s are a bit broader and therefore easier to place — perhaps a mild flaw.
Other foreboding scenes and vignettes hint at where this story might be heading. These include a vacant country road, a seedy motel, and a crashed car from the 40’s that could have come straight out of Weegee photo. In Untitled #9248-a, an old telephone sits on the floor ominously with the receiver off the hook. In one of the more overt juxtapositions, we see, in three adjacent photos, a well-worn black-and-white rephotograph (Untitled #10955-barry-hido-football) of a high school football player who happens to be Hido’s father; a mangled automobile (Untitled #9185-fd); and the words “The End” taken from a film (Untitled #1107-the-end). This sequence appears near images of the aforementioned motel, a hitchhiker, and a rumpled unmade bed – imploring us to connect the dots. The impressive range of formal congruencies, implied narratives, and art history references in these photos give viewers a lot to ponder.
outside of the house) and a story of their disconnection. It’s no accident that this scene of mundane alienation was used as the cover of a recent paperback edition of Raymond Carver stories.