Photography and Art

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Transparent City

Contemporary photography is like modern classical music - much of it leaves me scratching my head in bewilderment, but occasionally something really resonates. Lensculture is showing a gallery of work by Michael Wolfe called The Transparent City that really strikes a chord with me. He uses an extremely high resolution camera (over 100 megapixels) to capture voyeuristic shots of people in Chicago high rises (offices and apartments). The people are caught doing mundane things, like sitting in an office chair thinking or mingling at a cocktail party.

Wolfe does a wonderful job of capturing what it means to be a city dweller in the 21st century and communicates the loneliness, the separation from earthly things and the emotional stress that we all feel acutely at times. I particularly found the isolated, pixelated images that he's cropped out of his large images to be poignant because they capture gesture while preserving anonymity. It's very powerful stuff!

If you live and work in the city, you should spin through these images and reflect on what human life has become and where we are all going.

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