As part of a study exploring the image of the car passenger through contemporary photography, Stéphanie Gygax compiled exemplifying portraits and created a typology based on their various viewing points. This book is composed of a single photograph, the one of her workboard.
How do we look when we are driving or passengering? Who is looking, who is being looked at? What is the gaze at play between a human being and two mechanized extensions of the body, such as the car and the camera? To give an insight into the complex dynamics of this gaze, Xerox copies were tacked and arranged into the shape of a car outlined with a piece of string.
Most of the pictures displayed on the board belong to a larger body of work usually dealing with the road in the United States of America – but not only. With an apogee in the 1960s, their number decrease after 1973 and the first oil crisis that put an end to motorized insouciance. This typology highlights the inside of the car as a capsule, a privileged scene for portrait and performance. Offering at the same time a private room and a public backdrop, it combines the two antagonistic traditions of street and studio photography. Indeed, this confined space reveals many paradoxes. But whether it protects or destroys the characters, frees or imprisons them, it faithfully accompanies them in their quest for the self while holding one permanent component: the sense of drift.