Sunday, April 18, 2010

“We know the world by what we see”

- Anne Friedberg, The Virtual Window

Spatial experience is kaleidoscopic and necessarily so. Inhabiting or exploring a building involves perpetual movement in or out; up or down; beyond or between by a body in constant flux with shifting visual field. It is fleeting. A space becomes more a mosaic of multiple relationships than any particular fixed point of view. Photography then, in essence, is framed and fixed for an immobile viewer. This is why, I often think, it struggles to represent any spatial experience accurately.

Windows, however, can be an exception to this. A window is a reflective screen onto which an image is cast and whose edges hold a view in place. It is traditionally an aperture, used for light and ventilation. But since Alberti explained perspective in painting, as an ‘open window’ on a rectangular frame, they have been recognised in their ability to capture three-dimensional space on a two dimensional plane.

To look through a window, is to perceive different spatial locations simultaneously through predetermined framed and fixed views. To look at a photograph of a window, is to do the same. I became interested in the photography of windows as a means of realistically describing our perception of a window space.

Exhibition Proposal:

I want to investigate this - can a single image really capture a window space as we experience it or does it have to be an installation, an artistic endeavor or composite construction?... Hopefully the former... I intend to photograph one of the windows on the stairs as one might experience it, and exhibit a single image near the window. I would like people to experience both separately, then simultaneously, to compare them.

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