July 13, 2012.
This image have all the chances of falling apart. It consist basically of two squares of the approximate same size and could easily be perceived as two images in one. There are no physical lines too keep the images together or link the two squares. Other that they both stand on the same ground.
But the image does not fall apart, does it? The physical lines have been substituted by visual lines that hold the image together. Nikita Khrushchev and his gang are looking in the direction of the man with the dogs. Bodily postures add to that interest in some of the men. The whole gang seems to be taking a turn to the left from the viewers point of view. Soon they will meet on the pavement outside the wooden fence for a real chat. Khrushchev seems to be curious about what the man outside is holding in his hands. It that an iPhone he is playing with? The 4S maybe? Or is it something else? The interest is there.
The man’s stubborn neglect of the massive interest from behind adds to the tension between himself and the gang from former days. His turning his back on them does not break the illusion of interest, but strengthen it. It is clear that he will have no interference from them. As if he knows they are there. Breathing down his neck. There is a tension in the photograph. The lighter dog hides its head as not wanting to be there.
The darker dog brings in the observer to the situation. In this case the photographer. There is eye contact between the dog and the photographer as if the dog wants so assure that there is a witness to what will soon happen. Documenting it. Another layer of tension. Khrushchev entering the real world once more? But what does he want? Surely the cold war is over?
The visual lines makes up a triangle. There is a connection of tension between Khrushchev and his gang; the man with the two dogs; and the observer, the photographer.
The picture is taken in the area around Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. June 23, 2012.
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© Knut Skjærven. Text and Image: All rights reserved. (Links are welcome).