Beletage – Reflections of a window washer
Lars Nickel doesn’t look for his subjects; they hire a window washer and get a photographer into the bargain. That is what makes these photographs seem so wonderfully normal and down to earth. They show who and what is behind the front door. Pictures, furniture, carpets, decorative objects – of course all these things say something about the people who live among them, but there is no attempt to promote a particular agenda, just ordinary curiosity about one’s neighbors.
But the photographs’ apparent matter-of-factness does not just happen by itself. Precisely the appearance of simplicity requires long experience and great technical skill. Light, distance, linearity – all aspects of the photographer’s craft. And above all: the eye contact between photographer and photographed, the trust that neither will do anything to harm the other. This can certainly be interpreted as a rejection of the current celebration of “baring it all”. In any case, I am not aware of any other contemporary portrait photography project like this one.
Rector, Dresden Academy of Fine Arts
Hardcover, 96 pages
80 color photographs
Format 24 x 30 cm
€29.95 (Germany), €30.80 (Austria), CHF 40.90
Edition Braus, Berlin 2014
Exhibition New York City
Beletage: Reflections of a Window Cleaner
Friday, May 15th – Friday, June 19th 2015
Deutsches Haus at NYU
published by kasselerfotobuchblog.de, 11. October 2014
You can read an English version of this text here.
published by Der Tagesspiegel, 9. December 2014