The City of Copenhagen is divided into districts, one of them is called Vesterbro. One of the streets on Vesterbro is Vesterbrogade, and in this street there is a supermarket called Føtex.
One day in April 2010 I sat down on a bike rail at the entrance of the supermarket and started to take pictures of people walking toward and away from the camera.
Quietly watching hundreds of human faces swipe by (young, old, weird-featured, big-lipped, black, and all in between) can be a heart-lifting experience, perhaps because through these faces life clearly reveals its unfathomable creative ingenuity.
Over the following months I kept coming back to the place outside the supermarket. Many photos were taken (97,000), and 159 afternoons were spent taking them. The last day of shooting was December 17, 2011.
Early in the picture-taking process I stumbled upon a piece of software called Picasa. It’s a photo-managing tool that can recognize faces in an image, and allows the user to name the people who appear in the image.
Following an impulse, I fed Picasa the images taken outside the supermarket and started to name the people in the images, one person after the other: A1, A2, A3 … A100, then continuing B1, B2, B3. 11,000 people were named this way.
The process of adding names to faces revealed that hundreds of individuals who had been caught by the camera appeared in images that had been taken on different days.
In the course of time I began to recognize people from the images when I saw them in the street, and the more days I spent photographing outside the supermarket, the more images of familiar faces I got.
Out of this whole enchilada The Grocery Store Project took form. A chart was made. It consists of sequences of images crossing each other in horizontal and vertical lines. Each sequence shows the same person caught on different days.
The photos in the sequences are arranged in chronological order.