“Everything at a distance turns into poetry: distant mountains, distant people, distant events, all becomes romantic.” With these words, the German poet Novalis anticipated the appeal of one of the richest motifs in the visual arts: the window. From the Renaissance to contemporary art, windows very often symbolise a passage, an opening between the interior, personal, intimate world and the exterior, public space.

Apart from being a recurrent subject in the history of art, the window also has a prominent place in the history of photography. The view from the studio window of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833) is the subject of the oldest photograph known to date, taken in 1827. Furthermore, the window is formally linked to the photographic process itself because of its shape and because it does what the camera does, it “frames”.

Light or dark, open or closed, the window openings in the photographs of this exhibition serve not only as pictorial elements of the various compositions, but also as metaphors of the unknown, of the other, and of longing, hope and change.

Everything at a distance turns into poetry: distant mountains, distant people, distant events, all becomes romantic.

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