Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two Tourists in Space

This was not the intended shot. Whilst trying for a shot of a man looking at a signpost, these two young people inadvertently walked in front of me. I liked the new scene with the rucksacks but just as I was about to press the shutter, the man turned round - thus. Recognisably tourists, I wondered what they thought. They are in an unfamiliar space whereas I am not. Although the shops have changed over the years, they are essentially the same Baggot Street buildings with similar facades. As an inhabitant, I have in my head a representation of this space. But think of the street-front behind our two tourists as a user of energy with networks of inputs from various ducts. The geographer Henri Lefebre would say they are burning with energy -the city is consuming giant quantities of human and physical energy. What then is the female tourist seeing? She is witnessing a partiality, an abstraction - and in so doing she is herself a kind of abstraction. In the street we are all abstract users and it is impossible for us to recognise ourselves. So are we together these tourists and I, in a kind of illusion, visiting space like a painting at an exhibition?