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Vis à vis

Gail Albert Halaban

We all have a peeping Tom sleeping inside us: who hasn’t observed his neighbor moving about his apartment at night with the lights on? Gael Albert Halaban satisfies our curiosity in the urban setting of Paris, which never seemed so scenographic. Phases of life – couples having dinner, a woman stepping out of her shower or ironing, men reading, a young woman playing the clarinet – it could be you, it could be us! We find ourselves looking at these photos up close. Maybe we will recognize someone we know, a favorite café, a star at home. The cliches are not classified in any way what so ever, neither by the date on which they were taken, nor the street, nor the arrondissement. These intimate moments snatched rue de l’Ourcq, place des Vosges or at the passage du Désir will undoubtedly lead to legal suits. Actually, there will be no problem of that type since all the scenes were accepted, and more: the photographer agreed, built and posed them with the models. What looks very natural is sometimes the result of a long preparation.

Vis à vis, by Gail Albert Halaban, La Martinière, 2014, 128 p., €55 (English edition by Aperture, 2014).

Vis à vis - Gail Albert Halaban

Review published in the newsletter #369 - from 18 December 2014 to 7 January 2015

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