Beat Streuli b. 1957
Brussels 05/06 (2006)
For more than 15 years Swiss-born Streuli has trained his camera on the modern city dweller: chance passersby, faces in the crowd, details of hairstyle and clothing, a fragile or stern or gregarious look. His photographic and video works examine the denizens of various urban centers, from New York and Krakow to Tokyo and Tel Aviv, plucking visages and gestures from the flow of street life. Though he captures his subjects unawares, in the midst of their daily activities, it would be a mistake to consider Streuli's metropolitan portraits as simply natural, genuine, or purely spontaneous. On the contrary, his images have a certain recognizable look, and bear the mark of artistic selection. His work plays on a whole series of contradictions between the natural and the stylized, documentary and fiction, publicity and privacy, human dignity and mass alienation, glamorized poses and the cruelty of light.