I Saw You

Wellington, New Zealand, 2007

For twelve months, from the top floor of home, veiled behind an apron of black velvet, through double-glazing and a long lens, I photographed the comings and goings of a car park, an ample piece of reclaimed Wellington land that juts out into a bay, a family beach to one side. Surveillance is routine nowadays. It’s everywhere.

book

‘I Saw You’ was published by Vapour Momenta Books, the pocket-sized publishing arm of Catherine Griffiths and Bruce Connew.

It is the first volume in a social and political trilogy of artist books: ‘I Saw You’, 2007; ‘I Must Behave’, 2009; ‘I Drive You Crazy, to the Moon’, which is soon to be published.

“I peered in on people’s lives, sneaked up on their susceptibilities as they busied themselves mostly in ordinary ways, minding their own business and perhaps a little of yours, when they could reasonably expect no one to be watching—private moments in a public space.” Bruce Connew

$65.00 NZD

exhibition

‘I Saw You’, a 52-image series, showed at Mary Newton Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, August 2007. The exhibition showed again, in part, at Trish Clark Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand, April 2014.

film

‘BRUCE CONNEW I SAW YOU . . .’ is a film by Catherine Griffiths, using the 52-image series ‘I Saw You’ by Bruce Connew, with music by Chilean composer, Alfredo Ibarra, July 2007.

related writings

“Peter Bialobrzeski, damn it, you’re right, there’s work to be done here. No shilly-shallying.”

I looked out the window down to the pocket-sized figures about the public car park, half a kilometre away as the crow flies, and said to myself, “Peter Bialobrzeski, damn it, you’re right, there’s work to be done here. No shilly-shallying. I’ll watch these people, and I’ll photograph them. They won’t know. How good is that, Peter Bialobrzeski, how simple is that?” For twelve months, from the top floor of home, veiled behind an apron of black velvet, through double-glazing and a long lens, I photographed the comings and goings of a car park, an ample piece of reclaimed Wellington land that juts out into a bay, a family beach to one side. Surveillance is routine nowadays. It’s everywhere. We’ve come to expect it; we’ve even come to embrace it. It promises social order. It makes us feel safer. Its premise is creepy. I peered in on people’s lives, sneaked up on their susceptibilities as they busied themselves mostly in ordinary ways, minding their own business and perhaps a little of yours, when they could reasonably expect no one to be watching—private moments in a public space. Then I took away some of their identity and shuffled them together.

BRUCE CONNEW / 06.2007

I Saw You #28

I Saw You #26

I Saw You ... proposed installation, 2014