fbpx

m--Finkselstein-Two-or-Three-Things-I-Know-About-Her,-2015

Two or Three Things I Know About Her © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

m--Finkelstein-Still-Alice,-2015

Still Alice © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

As the story goes, the 1886 audience at the 50-second silent documentary The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat were so terror-stricken by the picture of a black and white train approaching that they leapt backwards for fear of certain annihilation. The fable, regardless of its veracity, speaks to the power of film to elevate even the most banal scene into the realm of preternatural.

For Sitting in the Dark with Strangers, New York City-based photographer Richard Finkelstein plays on cinema’s inherent ability to merge fact and fiction by fastidiously constructing model sets in which tiny figurines watch movies, pass by posters on the side of the road, and perhaps steal kisses under the illumination of a drive-in theater.

The lawyer-turned-photographer credits Edward Hopper and Alfred Hitchcock as his two primary influencers, and indeed, his imagined scenarios conjure up both the anxiety and elation wrought by the hands of his predecessors. As with the locomotive of the The Lumière Brothers, Finkelstein’s heroes and heroines come alive in their mundaneness.

By the very fact that they are indeed watching a movie, these miniature men, women, and children are caught unawares, made completely vulnerable to our gaze. In turn, they inspire within our own breasts an inevitable suspicion that we ourselves are being spied upon by large figures looming in the dark. Here, Finkelstein rips open the precarious membrane that separates real life from make-believe, inviting us to join him in choosing reverie over reason.

Sitting in the Dark with Strangers is on view at Robert Mann Gallery until January 30th, 2016.

m--Finkelstein-Crimes-and-Misdemeanors,-2014

Crimes and Misdemeanors © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

m--Finkelstein-The-Ladykillers,-2015

The Ladykillers © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

m--Finkelstein-The-Sweet-Hereafter,-2015

The Sweet Hereafter © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

m--Finkelstein-Wait-Until-Dark,-2015

Wait Until Dark © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

m--Finkselstein-Longing,-American-Style,-2015

Longing American Style © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

m--Finkelstein-The-Night-Watch,-2015

The Night Watch © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

m--Finkelstein-The-Man-Who-Wasnt-There,-2014

The Man Who Wasn’t There © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

m--Finkelstein-Beware-My-Lovely,-2015

Beware, My Lovely © Richard Finkelstein, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

Discover More