Formula: photography (various formats)

Warnings and preventative measures

“Not the one who cannot read or write, but the one who knows nothing about photography”, as has once been noted, “will be the illiterate person of the future”. (Walter Benjamin, Kleine Geschichte der Photographie)


Regina Virserius,  originally from Sweden and residing in France, presents a series of photographic portraits in the waiting room for pediatrics and cardiology, which have been printed on the same scale and have been placed at the same height as the people waiting in the room. The effect of these “two-dimensionally present” persons, although photographed whilst waiting in a different environment, is that they appear present in between or behind the people actually waiting.

Application and content

Virserius wants to investigate the interactivity of the gaze in this work: the exchange of glances and the different ways of watching and interpreting. The interpreting does not concern a lingual interpretation, but of allowing it to affect us, experience what we see.
A waiting room, a place of tense expectation and also of boredom, is pre-eminently a place where (furtive) glances cross each other, where communication isn’t verbal, but takes place through body language registered via the eyes. Small children – in a waiting room for pediatrics – look at each other differently than adults do. As they grow older they increasingly attain a more culturally determined view.

In a photographed portrait the relationship between spectator and depicted person is of a different order again: as a spectator one can read the other’s gaze unashamedly, although in this case, with the depicted person looking straight into the camera, one can never completely disregard the impression that the other is watching you. Yet here it is not merely the depiction that matters: the experience of a person on a photograph is different to experiencing a “real” human being.
Virserius wants to draw attention to the way the people waiting look at the physically present other and the photographed other, so one may see that watching someone is different to seeing another.


A CELL -Initiators of Incidents – company