Isolated Living

My dear fellows,

The work I would like to write about today is a series of art, produced by Johanna Walling, that depicts the style of life many people, consciously or not, chose to live. ‘People I never got to know’ is the title of this project, which initially was a side effect of a film she shot during her Asia travels in 2010. As she developed the film, she noticed, that she shot photos of several people from behind, which she apparently never got to know.

This realization is a process many people do not live through in their lives. I believe that this way of living, here represented exemplary by those people she photographed, but never got to know, is an attitude that is commonly held, but makes life much less of an experience. Just to open your eyes and experience the world consciously can make a huge difference in your every-day life. My dad once told me, to always be aware of the persons walking in front of me and behind me when I go home at night. It is all about little that make your life either richer, or in some cases safer and it is a true shame to miss them.

Now back to the art. The element that makes these pieces special is the tension it puts upon the onlooker by not exposing the subjects faces. When he looks at the picture the eye directly falls on the person and sticks with it. As the face is seen as the mirror of the soul and stands for an individual’s identity, the onlooker senses subconsciously that some elementary part of the central subject is missing and cannot find it, no matter how hard he is looking for it.

This tension makes a normal photograph a piece of art and is the reason I chose it.

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