Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Jeff Wall is outside my window...

This may sound super existential, but every now and then I get a moment of reality that takes me back into a distant memory of something that's in the past or what I've seen before.

Since the end of last week workers have been fixing all the lamposts on my road. At night when it gets dark there is no light at all from down the left hand side since they haven't yet hooked them back on. It is quite eerie, and amazingly these great moving shadows are caused by the lights from cars beaming onto lamposts and things. It is this strange battle between light and shadow. Its interesting to watch people passing by, because one minute they emerge from this black fog and the next they're almost illuminated.

It was this strange witnessing outside my very window that reminded of a photograph I once saw by Jeff Wall called "passerby", Tate Modern at a major retrospective of his works some years ago. In the photograph, one can't quite make out the fellow in the picture, and there is a great sense of unease, unknowing and suspense. Behind the tree it is barely possible to make out another figure, an accomplice, but everything is caught in a moment that seems to be less exposed than revealing and we don't quite understand what is happening or has taken place. It is left to our imagination to decide where these strangers have come from, and where they are going and what their story might have been. The illuminated sign in the back says "stop" as if telling us to be cautious when entering the dark mist.

And you can almost imagine a spooky voice saying to 'Lot' (the figure at the front) "DON'T LOOK BACK!". Of course he does and that's why he's been frozen in time ha!

The beautiful shadows from the tree on the wall remind me of the amazing scenes in one of my favourite films by Francis Ford Coppola's called Rumble Fish (click here to see trailer) which so simply captures this film-noir quality.

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