Rosa Olivares Through the Window, Exit #26, 2007-05-01

Jens Komossa - Duisburg (Germany), 1965. Lives and works in Berlin and New York.

After graduating from the Photography department of Thyssen Stahl AG, Komossa studied Communication and Design at the University of Essen. During that time he began to produce Berlin Rooms, a series of photographs – something of an archive – of the windows of his friends’ apartments in the German capital.

All the images were taken at night and they are representative of his interest in light. This interest led to his photographing spaces lit only by a television or computer screen in TV Rooms. To produce these series he used long exposure times which results in the recording of that which is hidden in the dark.

Rosa Olivares, „Through the Window“

Through the window we see life pass by. Time marches before our nostalgic gaze and whole lives elapse through the glass with its cold presence which separates us from the world we observe, converting us into spectators, into the audience of remote, private or universal stories, which succeed one another, which are repeated before our eyes without our being able to intervene without our wanting to cease being faithful observers of a story made of fragments of time and feelings that, since they are remote, we strive to keep from affecting us.

The window is a metaphor and light is a symbol. Its very form, its original essence affords literary meaning to its existence: simply an opening in the wall to let light in, to enable us to see what is around us. Sometimes a small opening that allows us to see, but does not allow others to see us, slight defensive openings to await the enemy; large windows to look at the landscape, close to the sea, to let in light and warmth. Windows that work from one side only, to observe detainees and thir interrogations, to spy on others. It can be a symbol for discussing curiosity, indiscretion, a way of peering into other lives which do not matter to us initially, but through which we eventually live our own. In film, Hitchcock´s Rear Window summarizes everything that can be said along these lines. But open a door, perhaps a window, to explore how the mass media have become the great rear window of our time. The world that used to gather around and chat in the patio and in the neighborhood to gossip about the familiar environment is now dispersed and isolated in their homes, in front of electronic windows that offer indiscreet stories about far away people, myths that we ultimately strip to recognize ourselves in their miseries and to once again ascertain, with unavoidable pleasure, that the rich also cry.

A fragile opening in a sturdy wall, in walls that delimit our lives, a close, everyday, controlled reality. Through those windows firmly held in place by a frame, the exterior enters into our homes and our minds. Through those misty window panes imagination enters, for the window is simply the frame through which we see the world. (...)

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