Monday, December 14, 2009

Roman Shopping

I very much liked this scene as I was sitting at a caffè in Rome. It's kind of relaxed, somehow, but also full of questions. What is the woman looking at this is so agreeable? What's in the magazine that the men reading, that is so interesting? Are the man and woman at the window related in some way? I will never know. Such is this kind of image. The scene is such a long way from the harshly-lit shopping malls that have become so familiar, less mannered and self conscious. Some photographers strive for a naturalism which they know is beyond their grasp - to show people who are at home in their environment and not self conscious. Is self consciousness any less real? Perhaps it's just different. Lefebvre says that the body reveals its inventiveness and deploys it in space. Maybe the camera does that too, since it's a kind of prosthetic. But this is optical space, not real space at all. For all that, it's a space I briefly inhabited and helped to shape.