Thursday, May 3, 2007

L.A. Store Windows

tend to be confused infinities. The most appealing ones are vernacular and somewhat forgotten (see also the photo posted with "Obvious Discontent," April '07), but even corporate ones are susceptible to complicating reflections that wind up layering their fantasies with counter-evidence. An "other" culture is rarely too far away to show in the mirror. It's hard for the windows to gain the aesthetically unified effect of photos of 19th-century Parisian windows of any class. But they aren't shallow, either; they go on forever, and are very sensitive to their place and time. Mostly, they have no concept of consistency, and who needs it. To go by recurrence, what they need is prurience, a little violence, openness to anything ominous or innocent, languages, charms, something toylike, something threatening, something sweet, something to gamble with, something to pray to, images that aren't worth thinking about, things that aren't worth throwing away, and objects that barely try to be what they claim to be but are completely accepted anyway. You can't know what's in the windows really, even by studying them. Things crop up that you didn't see, cut up by reflections, and your impressions don't hold; more objects keep appearing that you don't know the name for and you doubt they can have names, and there's no end to them. But they've known each other for a long time, and it's pretty lively in the crypt.

1 comment:

orpheusfx said...

I never thought of shop windows as deepening my sense of reality. Normally, I would think that windows of any kind separate the outside with the inside. Instead, there is a play or reciprocity with the two realms, creating a constantly metamorphosizing world(s) of unnamable objects and reactions. How fun!

This is also an unexpected take on Los Angeles which I appreciate. There's is always something cliched about representations of the city. At the Getty, there's an exhibition of photographs by John Humble with Los Angeles as its subject. The usual iconic and ironic stances are taken: Los Angeles river, trailer parks, the peculiar sunlight of Souther California, etc. Here the sunlight is there or not quite there as it blends with other forms. It's a different kind of fantasy of the city at work.