This is Art

June 2012

Thanks to James Edgar for featuring 'On The Plane' on This is Art.

Phillip Kalantzis-Cope is a photographer who explores the lived experience of a life saturated with technology and uses it to highlight 'humanist political ontologies'. Using a Leica M6 and a 50mm lens, his ongoing Windows on the World project captures this juxtaposition of the human and the natural through the experience of commercial flight. The plane for Kalantzis-Cope occupies a unique position between the very ordinary preoccupation with passing of time, through eating, sleeping, watching films and reading, and the extraordinary experience of traveling effortlessly at 30,000 feet.

Windows on the World is an attempt to realise the romance of flight, not just through the beauty of the earth seen from above, but through the elegance of the planes, their engineering, and the whole regimented system of air travel, as well as through the unique situation that a commercial flight creates — a microcosm where strangers share the world and the air for a predetermined amount of time with no opportunity for premature escape.

Cabin Fever takes this preoccupation to claustrophobic new levels in contrast to the romanticism of Windows on the World. Kalantzis-Cope's lens broods on the finer details of these mechanical, perfectly engineered microcosms with closely cropped encasing a narrowed field of vision and emphasising the isolation of the passengers.