No, wait, come back.
It's not like that. Well, not totally. It's just that I'm a bit obsessed with this new book called Out My Window (Powerhouse Publications).
It's by a very fine New York photographer called Gail Albert Halaban. She clearly has a fine eye and a nosy disposition, given that all of the photographs within are pictures of people caught through glass.
They catch lives in passing, as seen through the windows of apartments and houses and offices.
Is that voyeuristic? Well, uh, yes, it is. A little bit. But it also reminds us how natural voyeurism is. Admit it, at least once a day you will pass a cafe or a restaurant or someone's home and you will look in.
Who lives in a house like this? And what would it be like to live there? What shopping bags does that woman sipping a cappuccino have resting against the table? Primark? Agent Provocateur? Pets At Home? And what does that tell us about her?
What are we doing when we do this? We're telling ourselves stories, constructing flimsy narratives out of thin air and a passing glance. Every one of Halaban's pictures does the same. They also might make you think – they did me – of Alfred Hitchcock's film Rear Window.
Hitchcock knew better than anyone that we like to look. And most of the time all we see are people messing about, having dinner, arguing, laughing.
But there's always the chance that you might see something else. You might see a real story, as Jimmy Stewart did in Rear Window. Of course he ended up in that story. A murderer came looking for the man who was looking at him. And that's probably taking voyeurism too far. You don't want to be in the picture, do you? It's enough just to look at it.
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