Inactivity in public spaces. A photo essay by Oli Kellett

Published on Domus 1031 as part of the column “One photo at a time”, the series “Cross Road Blues” reflects on the significance of waiting in public spaces.

Oli Kellett, Figueroa St, LA, novembre 2016

This article was originally published on Domus 1031, January 2019

In Cross Road Blues, Oli Kellett tackles the overblown issue of the relation between people and the city in a series of sweeping urban views. He portrays figures at an intersection waiting for the lights to change as integral parts of something more complex, though graphically linear: the wait as inactivity, suspension of the social function.

Legend has it that Robert Johnson made a Faustian pact with the devil, signed at a crossroads. The pact is here seen anew in Street View terms. But unlike the myth of the guitarist’s sold soul, the new terms of the contract see humans regaining visibility by losing out on depth.

How long out of the five years of our lifetime that we spend on average waiting is used to reacquire a lost dimension? In this moment of maximum loss of identity, confused with the affirmation of the person, Kellett’s ironic reflection puts us at the centre of the world, albeit in a far from self-centred perspective.

Oli Kellett (b. 1983) is a British photographer based in Hastings, UK. In 2018 he was awarded both the Royal Academy Arts Club Award and the  Royal Academy Rose Award for Photography for his work included in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

Opening image: Oli Kellett, Figueroa St, LA, November 2016

Cross Road Blues
Oli Kellett
Oli Kellett: Cross Road Blues
HackelBury Fine Art
Opening dates:
until 23 February 2019
4 Launceston Place, London

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