Thursday, March 06, 2008

140sqm Roland Fischer

140sqm Roland Fischer
Arriving at 140sqm I really wasn't expecting much. While browsing
140sqm's website prior to my visit, Fischer's Pool Portraits simply
bored me. Despite their subtle eeriness due to the ambiguity of the
models' bodies, I couldn't help but think of cheesy anti-aging cream
advertisements. Instead, I felt drawn to the other portraits within
Fischer's photography book, where his subjects subversively stare at
the viewer. Although such portraits are fairly common, I always stare
straight back; the gaze automatically grabs my attention.
The soldier portraits, in particular, immediately drew me near. In
fact, I became completely absorbed by the piece. While I never fully
feel comfortable staring at those who pass me in the street, I was
able to stare back for once—not just to one, but to many. I stared
at noses, cheeks, eyes, ears. In some bizarre way, I felt avenged
for all the staring and pointing I regularly receive in Shanghai.
Although the interaction was not quite a complete role-reversal, (I
merely stared at pictures which existed within a setting where such
scrutiny is welcomed and encouraged) I felt content. Though the
standardization from the uniforms and the reversal of hierarchy
within the piece intensified my act of analysis from one figure to
the next, I was mostly happy to just stare. There truly is nothing
special in the act of staring at a photograph; however, as I try to
overcome my apprehension towards staring and the idea that one
forfeits her personal space upon arrival in China, I will relish such
moments, as trivial as they may be. --AP

1 comment:

Matt said...

I also really liked the headshots of all the military officials, can't really pin point my thoughts on it. But I thought it was a neat piece.