Niepce's window will never leave us … (alone)!
Why? Why a window has so much appeal to us? Isn't already the camera viewfinder enough of a window for looking at the world breaking down any responsibilities towards reality and preventing us from acting?
"Voyeurism", one might exclaim (*), "we only see what other images have taught us to see" others have said.
The debate is long, but let's take the odds of saying that a window in a photograph accentuates the imaginary, it confirms that the scene is definitely out of reach. A kind of justification, a confession and an absolution at the same time.
The four pictures presented here have all this one same element and the same underlying semantics, but what a spectacular way of proving that the photographer's eye is not the same twice.
Koushik is objectively unable to participate in the action, George has possibly initiated the runaway, and Denis knows well and anticipates the behaviour of his subjects and fellow citizens.
Tension (Koushik), surprise (Denis) and mystery (George) reveal no information whatsoever as to the why these pictures are taken. No assurance as to the faithfulness of the events, no authenticity statements, no proof of the real experienced facts.
One sole certainty: windows are proscenium arches in the photographers' theater of life.
(*) "Photographing is essentially an act of non-intervention … the person who intervenes cannot record; the person who is recording cannot intervene … the act of photographing is more than passive observing. Like sexual voyeurism, it is a way of at least tacitly, often explicitly, encouraging whatever is going on to keep on happening. To take a picture is to have an interest in things as they are, in the status quo remaining unchanged (at least for as long as it takes to get a “good” picture), to be in complicity with whatever makes a subject interesting, worth photographing—including, when that is the interest, another person’s pain or misfortune." Susan Sontag On Photography
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