Justin Fondrie (born 1987) is a Wisconsin-based artist and educator. He received his MFA in Imaging Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His photographic work largely encompasses experimental processes that invoke the ideas of memory, pop culture, and temporality. Fondrie is currently an assistant lecturer at Carroll University and lives in Milwaukee, WI.
The faces you see come from a leaked database called The Xinjiang Police Files. In 2018, regions of China were ordered to photograph a substantial share of the population as part of data collection. A collection of 2,884 leaked photographs surfaced of Uyghur people who are/were in a re-education camp or detention center. Since the images were taken in 2018 the status of each detainee is unknown.
Each cyanotype uses an original source image taken of each person when the data was being collected. The ID photo is printed onto a handmade newspaper. The newspaper acts as an ever-changing medium symbolizing the revolving door of headlines of what people remember and what gets published. A cyanotype is a time-based process mirroring the time-based process of newspaper headlines. Much like human life the newspaper, cyanotype chemistry, and image of each person will change over time and will eventually fade away. A reminder of the fragile nature of our existence.