Anja Foerschner

Balcony (other side)

silver gelatin print, 5 x 7 in.

“Balconies”, a series of 10 black and white photographs, deal with the structures of living in contemporary society and put them in the context of current social and cultural conditions.

A typical feature of European living, balconies pose questions about the possibility of individuality and privacy in a densely populated space. Hundreds of balconies, belonging to hundreds of absolutely similar apartments, are those areas that allow for the communication of individuality to the outside world. In this context, the housing complex can also function as a metaphor for mass media culture, in which the quest for identity and individuality gets ever more difficult.

In an age of increasing virtual exhibitionism and voyeurism, “Balconies” furthermore illustrate the paradox of the private and the public in the media- versus the real world. People form communities with complete strangers and willingly share any personal information online, information they would never communicate face-to-face in the real world, where they desperately try to maintain privacy.

However, the more people immerse themselves in virtual worlds and the spheres of technology, which make a constant involvement almost mandatory, the more they seem to distance and isolate themselves from each other and get detached from their surrounding world. This development is illustrated by the closed shades of the balconies that seem to exclude the outer (real) world completely from the (virtual) activities on the inner side.