The Waiting Game


A chair dictates a context. It implies an act of waiting,  spending time in the same place until something more important than the mere act of waiting happens. A chair has also a connotation linked to a tedious activity. We are only allowed to stand up when we have finished a task, when we want to take a break, when we start something else or when we are told to do something else.

In Txema Salvans’ photographic series ‘The Waiting Game’, he captures some moments of prostitution in urban peripheries (‘invisible, yet inhabited spaces’). We are able to realize of the situations, not only because of what our cultural knowledge already makes our brain associate with the clothes or places depicted. But also because of the presence of a chair that constantly appears in most photographs. A shabby plastic chair that does not match the logic understanding of the natural landscape along a road. The chair here reveals that tediousness, that forced condition of waiting. The chair also reveals the lack of a proper space for sexual encounters and exposes the hypocrisy about the non-existence of such activity. The autonomy of the human body, deprived of everything material around it, becomes the means of earning a bare life.

The chair works as a mechanism of visibility that constructs an architectural space: both as a sign for potential customers and as a sign to bring us down to harsh reality and think about the implications of simply waiting.


[all images by Txema Salvans ‘The Waiting Game’ via Obsessive Collectors]











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