In honor of the Academy Awards tomorrow night, I am featuring new work by Dutch photographer, Jan Koster. Right out of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Jan’s images of his voyeur/peeping tom activities are fascinating glimpses into real life in his project, Neighbours Observed: one summer in Amsterdam. Let me just say for the record, that I have never had neighbors this attractive.
Jan Koster devoted himself to one simple activity for a whole summer: he observed women´s private everyday life in the building opposite for several hours a day from the window of his Amsterdam apartment. They become motifs in his De Ramen photo-series. These voyeuristic images derive a sense of objectivity because of the series´conceptual rigour. They show viewers intimate moments in the lives of unknown women who lie on their beds thinking they are unobserved, sit in a armchair or simply stand about in the room. Viewers are offered glimpses of interiors that exite curiosity, framed by the window panes, window frames and dark, solid masonry, and this is all reinforced by the very small format chosen or for example by a half-closed curtain in one of the pictures – glimpses of very private retreats! The windows mark a boundary between the inside and the outside world and sharpen the contrast with the lines of the women´s silhouettes. Jan Koster creates an exiting interplay between observing and being observed.
By the way, my money’s on The Hurt Locker...
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