Young Man at his Window (After Caillebotte)

ManinFrontofTheSunset   This image refers to an idea that has been stuck in my mind for some time. Gustave Caillebotte’s ‘Young Man at his Window,’ painted in 1875, shows a man spying on a young woman from his apartment. Although the voyeurism of the original composition isn’t something I’m trying to explore, the structure of the image has always seemed relevant in today’s Tele-Dependency. Unlike in the 19th century, what is presented to the viewer from outside the window, is un-changeable, its merely life as it moves by, however, using the screen as a window, we now have a customisable view into our interests / desires / passions. 9372 This image is one that I hope to explore. Its structural simplicity describes its concept perfectly. We are all but voyeurs to a world that currently only exists within the screen, however, the more we cultivate its interface, the more likely this will be a window into a different kind of space. A space that can be walked through, manipulated, built upon etc.

The way the man stands in front of his window shows obvious similarities with watching a TV or projection. The stance is also similar the viewpoint used in open world console games, this is where the viewpoint is from behind the lead character, to allow the user to experience the space as the character does). It gives the viewer the role as the audience. You are watching the character look out to the landscape, rather than just the landscape. Obviously most figurative paintings do the same thing, however I’ve just always seen this painting a good example of this idea, as well as a minimal composition with a lot to say. In a world with computers, the man’s pose would be similar to we feel about technology. The way in which I, a man, believe I have control over the picture on the screen may not necessarily . This is no new subject, there has been an endless worry over data farming, and identity theft.

My interest is in the emergence of virtual reality, and including 3D elements in everyday life (augmented reality… so far..). The window represents the television, a tried and tested element thats brilliance has excited half a century of viewers. I believe we are reaching the end of this reliance, and over the next decade, a revolution of integrated imagery could take its place. This image of a man looking out of the window is simply an allegory for man looking out a “window” into a new definition of space, virtual space. Below is a photograph I took of a friend of mine watching a projected film at the Sigmar Polke exhibition. I aim to use it in my own composition.

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