Matinée - These images call to attention the act of ‘sight-seeing’ - how people engage with cultural spaces by swiftly injecting themselves and documenting their presence before moving on to the next attraction. The gaze which they perform for reveals an in-between moment of anxiety and awareness, setting the scene as a strange stage.
This seeks to treat that touristic behaviour as phenomenal in itself. Zooming in on the photographic moment from an alternate angle, watching people pose, obliterating the environ in which they are so desperate to be captured. When the very attraction that motivated the subject is removed, their temporary attempt at anxious self-preservation is made vulnerable, even more so that they are unaware of the lens in a sea of cameras. The gaze of an uninvited voyeur makes unremarkable street photography literally spectacular, as a paparazzo observes their prey from a secretive vantage.
This covert voyeurism situates the portraits in moral grey zone. The camera perpetrating something potentially sinister in an ocean of happy-snaps. The role of voyeur is complicated - these people are captured in their own exhibitive act alongside those of many others, and in that sense have perhaps chosen to forfeit their right to privacy.
Yet this right to photograph and publish is further shadowed by the country in which they are taken. Most shots are taken in Berlin, where strict laws surrounding privacy are deliberate and heavy handed. In Matinée, the ghoulish obscuring of faces echoes the blurring of houses and companies on Google Street View. Personal freedoms of the photograph and the photographer become ambiguous and the excitement of documentary photography is assuaged. A further point of interest and contradiction is experienced with the seemingly relaxed nature residents have with open curtains at all times of the day and night.
Delicate employment of post-production grading gives the subjects a filmic or editorial quality; this quality is then undermined or exploded by the featureless rendering of the faces, calling to the unauthorised footage exploited in trash magazines and television. This serves to extend (in a way, even resolve) the narrative looping, making the subjects the stars of their very own show, their shadowy identities all the more potent, perhaps famous, for remaining undisclosed.