arthur kleinjan, paris looks. 1999-2001
Between 1999 and 2001, the artist spent hours perched in a balcony above the Sacré Coeur church in Paris, watching the people below. As tourists struck poses for souvenir snapshots, he would take a second photograph from behind.
“Sometimes it takes a few seconds for their friends to get the camera ready, and they suddenly don’t know what to do with their bodies. They ask themselves, what leg do I stand on? A bag, or a bottle of water should be out of the image, so they keep it behind their back. They design themselves into what they think is a nice picture … I wanted to show the moment of alteration, as the tourists transform themselves into an image. They seem very self-conscious about the way they look. Vulnerability is revealed. Their discomfort with their own body, as they stand there, is isolated in time and space, waiting to become a future memory.” (x)