Beth Block

Front Backpack, Manhattan, U.S.A, 2001

C print 76x114cm

Courtesy of the artist

Beth Block’s photography is composed of conflicting elements of inner and outer, the public and the private. The artist inquires whether we style in our own consciousness the cities in which we live, and how we are impacted on by the environment and people around us. How is it possible to find moments of reflective thought in the context of public spaces, and how may we withdraw for a moment from unceasing interaction in order to train a critical gaze?

To raise these questions Block photographs the in between moments separating the matters we tend to concentrate on. In between moments are revealed in the scenes that take place on route to somewhere else, at the corner of one’s gaze. She documents the pattern of intimate moments in which she catches herself and others, when she manages to capture her subjects as they disconnect momentarily from the urban melee, as she does, and brood where they stand. In such moments they are isolated from the unceasing flow of the mass and are revealed in their fragile position and to the sharp edged emotions that propel the energy of the city.