COPENHAGEN art of distraction


I'm becoming more and more self-conscious about how often I use my smartphone because I want to be engaged in the world around me whether it be the mundane walk with dogs or engaging with friends at dinner. It's a great excuse to travel out of country to be able to turn off the phone with a ready-made excuse. The phone however is extra helpful when you are alone and granted many things like reading or listening to music are on these handy devices as we know. Through my walking of a particular new place I often take random hip shot images to capture the moment of the surroundings. What's great about people on their phones is that they are probably sitting still for an extended length of time. In the past, this would have been like posing for a drawing or painting. Several times my breath stopped as I witnessed a beautiful composition like the one above. The guy in the white shirt and white shoes sitting exactly in the middle of the bench in the middle of an atrium at the Glyptotek. The contrast between the foliage and the architecture creates the scene while this person just happened to be framed by the foliage as I witnessed from an upper floor of the museum. The irony here is that this is a museum and he became part of the exhibition in his stillness. That last component that made my heart beat a bit faster was noticing the white busts in the background exhibition hall reinforcing the contrasts.

In analyzing all of my imagery to select the best for all of the preceding posts, I had several like these with singular people using their phone. The other compositions weren't as exciting as this so I decided to make montages out of other images that have not been shown in the previous posts. In some instances I am imagining what they may be thinking while on the subway train, is it the grocery list with cheese at the top? for example and because outside the traveling window is neglected it starts to become static. In others they blended into the urban environment so I integrated the natural organic foliage inspired by the museum image. The guy in the athletic wear smoking a cigarette with his green neon shoe laces reminded me of the colors in the fruit at the local market while the older gentleman just happened to be leaning against one of the box structures I'd been documenting. For him I decided to contrast the book shelving from the Laundromat Cafe with his street pose on the phone while the woman behind the counter becomes digitized either as someone engaged on the electronic device or even a memory, perhaps a conversation with 'sister nancy'.

This image is a compilation of three with the foundation of the woman at one of the local markets (near Israel Square). The wood seat growing out of the flowers and vines (from Louisiana Museum exterior). The juxtaposition here is that of the stenciled artwork found on a street while after leaving the Laundromat Cafe. I love the way the stenciled girl is looking behind her as even though she also has headphones on she is more active, on the move. Does she represent the inner spirit or the dreams of the woman immersed in her phone?

Lastly, this final image is a compilation of several scenes from outside the large art museum in the fountain. The single woman was sitting on a wood bench somewhere else in the city on another day. She is relaxed but disengaged from the world around her so I wanted her to be melting or blending into the water of the fountain. Is she so distracted she can't be present and engaged in the moment, have that child-like sensibility to be spontaneous and have fun, to notice what is happening in the world around her? The contrasts between the two main characters in their moment in time I pass them. I myself am going to take away from the experience in Copenhagen to have the joy de vivre, the casual joviality approach to life and continually encourage others to turn off the phones and join me in living in the moment, in the present physical reality whether it be people watching or the happy art of accidental adventure....


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© 2016-2019 BY VAL SLOAN. ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT BY VALERIE SLOAN

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