THE INTIMATE ACT OF LOOKING INSIDE OUT
Look through your window.
What do you see?
Looking through the window is that moment when we separate ourselves from the world around us and are the ones observing it all. Whether we feel we belong or simply feel excluded and not understood. Time has stopped, the most unimportant details noticed and the most distant noises heard.
It is a moment of solitude.
The photograph Butte, Montana is taken from his hotel while traveling alone across the Northern States. It captures the feeling of loneliness and at the same time the story of mining cities in the west Americas. It is part of his series Looking in America, opposing to the bright and colour photography that was out in magazines reflecting sunny prosperous America. The photograph wouldn’t have had the same effect or innovative point of view if it hadn’t included the detail of the curtain. It’s that relation between the photograph and what he sees what makes the banal so personal, reflecting his own psychological state in the place and moment where he encounters himself.
Alec Soth tries to see through Robert’s Frank eyes some decades later.
Look through your window again.
Take a picture of what you see.
What do you see now?
When architects design window opening, do they think of that moment of staring through the window, of putting a window so as to provoke that banal and yet so natural act of gazing through the window?
There are two ways Andre Kertesz looks through the window - to capture a certain encounter of relations, using the window as a place to look from
or to stay inside, retaining his eye on the foreground details, only having the outside world as a distant background.
There is something very personal and intimate in the photos taken by Robert Frank, Andre Kourtasz. Even though it seems to be about the outside world, these photographs are actually revealing the photographers own state of mind and their connection to the outside in that very chosen moment. They reflect from the inside the outside , from that inner state of loneliness, of contemplation, of embracing it all, the outside world of relations, daily events and places. Their photos would reflect the most banal actions, the most cliché landscapes but through certain details engage their own participation in them and change the final view of the outside.
John Pfehl looks at famous American landscapes, city views from inside lookingout.
Unlike some previous works, where he would interfere directly into the landscape to alter the actual view, in this case it’s the way we look from inside, the characteristics of the layers of frame that determine the outside view. The stains, the broken panes of glass are natural forms of mark-making.
In his photographs nothing is accidental or unobserved. He meticulously sets up his camera through a picture window stripped to its basic rectangle in a darkened room. The blackness around the picture manages to capture the isolation and resounding silence of the act of looking through.
He is exploring all the dynamic that occurs around the static.