Cole replies with an image of a large banner warning of “Camerabewaking,” or “camera surveillance” in Dutch. When Poitras ceases her messages following Donald Trump’s election, Cole sends images of bouquets to Poitras, as if in mourning, but receives no response.
Sharma and Rozovsky’s conversation is the most intimate and tender in the show. Just before the project began, the two photographers confessed to each other that they were pregnant. Serendipitously, both were due within three weeks of each other in April, just before their conversation of images would come to a close.
The exchange of photos that ensued shows the excitement of nurturing new life in their bodies, but also feelings of uncertainty about bringing a child into a turbulent political climate. In one shot by Sharma, a pregnant belly mirrors the watermelon next to it. Rozovsky responds with an image of her hand holding a beet high in the air. It resembles a bleeding heart.
While moments of joy are tempered with those of disquiet throughout Sharma and Rozovsky’s conversation, the coda is decidedly optimistic: Both gaze at their newborns in awe. For the two artists, the discourse of images they developed was so fruitful that they have continued to collaborate beyond the project’s April deadline.
As Fineman hoped, these visual dialogues offer a revealing window into the minds of 24 creatives. But more insightfully, they lay bare the many ways in which artists siphon inspiration from their world around them—not just from their surroundings, but from the observations of (and discussions with) their peers, too.