Monday, 21 January 2008
Seen better on Flickr!
Beat Streuli uses the street, both to make his work and sometimes to show it in the form of giant billboards - public space moved into commercial space. He photographs people unawares, making inconsequential portraits that capture urban joys and anxieties of people in their streetwalking off time. His work appears simple in the extreme and reduces Streuli to a random bystander/photographer, but his pictures stay with me for some reason. Perhaps it is because his lack of projection onto the subject leaves you with something raw and, dare I say it, authentic. There is a lot going on despite the apparent simplicity.
There's an awful lot of work on his website, so the other thing that happens is similarities emerge between the different cities and countries he shoots on - similar to Hans Eijkelboom's work on Shanghai, Paris and New York.
But at the same time, there are differences too, and that's what stands out more. Despite the shared urgency (or otherwise ) of various people's movement through space, despite the similarities in pose and dress, their is a feeling of inner space beyond Streuli's control. And that, I think, is what makes his pictures stick.