ESPRIT DE CORPS
Hands up if you have never forced your way into a photo booth late at night with a bunch of friends, hogging it for hours on end just to snap erratic pics among your buddies, or snatch that longed-for kiss to your valentine. Oh, cherished youth: that mix of fellowship, joyousness and ticklish desire. Who wouldn’t want to catch it on film, posing for a set number of exposures?
A bystander of the fleeting moment and an icon of ephemerality, the photo booth accounts for this cheerful lightheartedness. Outside of its ordinary function, it calls for your boosted ego by setting aside a blessed space for self-expression—and who better than a group of cool kids who make of the street their scenario to embody this narrative, in a city, Milan, that has carved its beating heart out of identity and style.
Taking a photocard today is a way to assert your personality and that of your folks, but also a way to subvert a pecking order—for in the era of smartphone selfies and endless scrolling, scarcity is what we value the most; privacy is a fading memory and the proliferation of personal images has led to a lack, not an overkill, of any sense of true closeness and intimacy. Whereas Instagram is more a portfolio than a photo album, the photocard has an ease that pushes away from notions of curated identity, rejecting a form of imposed authority that exists against freedom and wants to force any activity into a prescribed sphere.
The photocard shot at dawn in a moment of buoyant revelation celebrates those perfect junctures that make life beautiful. There’s purity in that, a sense of seeking preservation—of wanting a moment to exist forever.