Friday, April 24, 2009

Ben Hartschuh

Ben Hartschuh

Work from A Thousand Windows. I was drawn in by some of his out of focus portraiture, and I found this work about voyeurism and webcam culture.

"I saw this one where a couple was just sleeping. The lights were on and they were sleeping.No sound though, you couldn’t hear him snore. One hundred and sixty-seven viewers,watching them sleep. Maybe if I wait long enough they’ll start having sex. A friend saw. “I couldn’t have this, I wouldn’t leave the house,” she said. A thousand windows and each have their own story. In another, a man in a garter belt and panty hose stood in front of his television. I couldn’t see what was playing, it was distorted in the darkness of the background. It’s the depths that get me. The distance, male and female, planes of focus. Separation. Another, the girl in the back undresses, coolly, and without much effort or excitement rubs her breasts. Fifteen more viewers. The man turns; maybe it’s his encouraging words or her impatience, only time will tell. Sixty more then, they’re in the triple digits now. Playing to hundreds of homes. They’re active participants, exhibitionists and voyeurs, feeding off each other. What makes us so curious about what goes on in others homes, yet so shocked to see it? Why do the lives of others seem much more interesting than our own? If a camera watched you who would look through from the other side? How would they view you? This work presents life seen only by those who choose to seek, or desire to be sought. Set up by the subjects themselves, cameras broadcast the alluring, the boring, the playful, the disturbing, the demure, and the insatiable. I’ve chosen to show you only pieces of the whole, moments frozen. If we can ponder the instant does it become more real? It is up to you to decide right or wrong, to be turned on or mortified, curious or condemning. They are playing for you. " 

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