Guest Post – UCLA Health

marty
UCLA Health. April 2016 ©2016 Marty Mullin

I received this photo in my email today from a friend. A talented Director of Photography I have known for years. It speaks for itself. I didn’t convert into black and white because I love the 70’s avocado green of the couch. He didn’t send any other information along with the picture.

It has always been my hope that others begin to participate in the Waiting Room Project, that’s why I call it a project – an ongoing documentation of these ‘non-places’ and by extension, the documentation of our lives.

Thank you Marty, you are the very first guest poster. I have had others send me photos and I will scour my emails to find them and share.

5th Floor Elevator Lobby

Waiting_select_079
Medical Building, Santa Monica. July 2013

I spotted these two chairs outside an elevator in my oral surgeon’s building. What struck me as odd was why do you need such comfy chairs to wait for the elevator? Actually, why chairs at all? Are the elevators really so slow that you might want to sit down for the minute or so it takes for the doors to open, or did the designers of this building know that it would take far longer? At least there aren’t any magazines on the table. That would bode ill for anyone in a hurry. Is the elevator ride so exhausting that you will have to sit a moment to catch your breath before venturing down the hall to your appointment? It’s only the 5th floor. Someone sat there long enough to drink their water. But for how long? Just another ‘Waiting Room’ mystery.

The Open Door

Waiting #76
Surgery Center, Santa Monica. June 2013

By now, I was on the lookout for waiting rooms, waiting benches, waiting stools, waiting lines, any place that had been designated, however vaguely, as a “waiting area”, my iPhone at the ready. I had it pre-set to one of the black and white combinations that I was using. Often these photos were taken surreptitiously, no more than a quick glance at the screen and a touch of the shutter button. Many times I would only take one photo. Sometimes I had the luxury of several, choosing the best when I had the leisure to look at them on the large screen of my computer. After my initial appointment with the oral surgeon of the last post, I was walking down the hallway toward the elevator when I passed this doorway and was immediately captivated by the image. I wondered what the woman was doing. Was she talking to someone? Was she getting something out of her purse on the chair next to her?  Was she a patient or was she waiting for someone else? As I didn’t want to be discovered taking pictures, I snapped this one photo; I didn’t linger to peer in to answer the questions. I preferred to leave them unanswered to be asked and answered by the viewer.