http://www.kunsthaus.ch/en/the-collection/photography/beat-streuli/?redirect_url=title%3DNouvelles

Kunsthaus Zürich

Beat Streuli

The lone person in the big city crowd has been a central theme of modern art since Poe and Baudelaire. For more than a decade the eye of Beat Streuli’s camera has been diving into the streams of passers-by in western metropolises. Streuli photographs from the distance with a telephoto lens. But his portraits of contemporaries, picked out from the anonymous streams of pedestrians, have nothing surreptitious or voyeuristic about them. The people are highlighted, but not laid bare, for the distance is reciprocal. The photographer’s distance and discretion match to the strange dreamy alertness with which pedestrians in big cities walk past one another. They size one another up fleetingly, but the short duration of the glances, however intense they may be, permits no indiscretion. As in Streuli’s works, everyone is very briefly skimmed over many times by the glances of many people, but nobody feels or behaves as if he or she is under scrutiny. The medium of slide projection makes it possible for Streuli to support his theme additionally by space and movement. The fade effect records the continual wandering of attentiveness and distraction; individual faces show up in the harsh sunlight against the dark of the façades like light reflections on the crests of the waves of passers-by, spellbound by the spotlight of their own gaze, quiet, introverted, deaf to the noise of the city.

Beat Streuli (1957)
Oxford Street, 1997
Slide installation, loop, in three parts, 373 slides, 38 minutes
Kunsthaus Zürich
Beat Streuli (1957)
Oxford Street, 1997
Slide installation, loop, in three parts, 373 slides, 38 minutes
Kunsthaus Zürich