Elliot Erwitt, Wilmington, North Carolina, 1950

Elliot Erwitt (American, b. France 1928), Wilmington, North Carolina 1950

Elliot Erwitt (American, b. France 1928), Wilmington, North Carolina, 1950 from the portfolio Elliot Erwitt Master Prints Vol. 2, 1950. Gelatin Silver Print, 14 11/16 x 21 13/16 in. Gift of Dr. Kistaps J. Keggi 1986.77.8

A classic site of display and seduction, the slick surface reflections of a store window meld a complex set of gazes where distinctions between human subject and inanimate object begin to dissolve. The mannequin appears to catch the eye of the woman in the street as she glances back over her shoulder from the sidewalk. Both of their bodies torque in awkward positions. The evident strain in the scene of their looking doubles that of ours. The reflections superimpose the spaces, doubling the figure of the woman in the street. Reflections in the glass also transpose a streetlight so that it appears as if emerging from the hole where an arm might have been attached. This hole on the surface is also doubled and repeated in the sprocket holes of the film printed as the base of the frame. The double exposures here make the holes apparent, turning the image into a doubling reflection on photography’s capacities for ongoing development.

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