A Bad Breath of Air

A Bad Breath of Air

This photograph presented itself in a strange way. He did not notice the house when he had first passed by. In fact, he travelled through the neighbourhood many times on his regular route to the photo lab to process his negatives. It was as a user of the city that this shot emerged. The scene was rather banal. It was just one of those innumerable corners of the city.

He had started looking at the space of the city in a different way, allowing it to resonate with him more uncontrollably. He was becoming a mere receptor while his images curiously simulated more and more his own state of being. A spontaneous correlation was setting in between him and the city.

 

I feel strangely overtaken by the image. The façade of the house looks like a face whose mouth and nose were stripped off, lending it an air of stupidity. I feel the house wants to speak but cannot for lack of a mouth, and because houses do not speak.

It is because the chimney has been removed, because a functional element is missing, that I am drawn to the face without a mouth and nose. It is as if the house had already taken a step back towards its original architectural sketch, to the flat dimension of the drawing. The image destabilises the viewer, in one’s realisation of having encountered a mockery.

Yes, the image mocks the viewer and his sense of inquisition. What is it? What does it mean? The image throws itself back at the viewer. The only option is to escape through the black holes at the bottom of the house, to fall further into the trap. The image is an impasse.

 

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