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Resource Magazine

Arne Svenson Captures Neighbors In Voyeur Exhibit

Matthew Corkins May 21, 2013 IMAGE MAKERS
No5

Arne Svenson has quite the eclectic portfolio with exhibits featuring sock monkeys, stray cats looking away from the camera, empty scenes of Las Vegas, and his most recent exhibit The Neighborswhich features his neighbors. Much like the stray cats, no faces are visible. Their bodies are just in an everyday position: sitting down for breakfast, a midday siesta or squeezing a teddy bear. Windows and curtains offer geometry to the photos, and dirty window provide an aging effect, displacing the photos seemingly a few years. The subjects are unknown and unaware, which helps the exhibit fit into its documentarian and voyeurism category. But did he go too far?

Svenson has received a lot of attention, nationally, for his exhibit. Unfortunately, the attention is not on the photos but on legal matters. The subjects and residents of Zinc Building in Tribeca are alleging these photos are an invasion of privacy since Svenson did not ask the residents for their permission. But the laws in this case are unclear since the faces are not shown and the subjects can be seen from the windows, which bleed into public territory. Had he taken pictures of them in their bathrooms, however, the case would be clear invasion.

Is it invasion, though? The photos are not harmful to the subjects in any way. They were meant for art and to capture real life. And, there’s little to go on to identify these people—and little motivation to do so. If the subjects actually cared about their privacy that much, closing the blinds seems like the option.

The Neighbors will be displayed at Julie Saul Gallery until June 29. Visit the gallery or the gallery’s website for more information: saulgallery.com

Above Photo: Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #5, 2012, pigment print, 44 1/2 x 30″, ed. 5 : Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #1, 2012, pigment print, 63 x 26", ed. 5 Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #1, 2012, pigment print, 63 x 26″, ed. 5
Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Arne-Svenson, Julie-Saul, Gallery, New-York-City

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #16, 2012, pigment print, 46 x 30″, ed. 5
Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Arne-Svenson, Julie-Saul, Gallery, New-York-City, Voyeur

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #11, 2012, pigment print, 30 x 45″, ed. 5
Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Arne-Svenson, Julie-Saul, Gallery, New-York-City, Voyeur

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #10, 2012, pigment print, 45 x 30″, ed. 5
Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Arne-Svenson, New-York-City, Julie-Saul, Gallery, Voyeur

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #4, 2012, pigment print, 45 x 30″, ed. 5
Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Arne-Svenson, New-York-City, Julie-Saul, Gallery, Voyeur

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #2, 2012, pigment print, 45 x 30″, ed. 5
Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Arne-Svenson, Julie-Saul, Gallery, New-York-City

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #17, 2012, pigment print, 47 1/2″ x 30″
Courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York

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