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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Two: Travel Incongruities > Seventh Street Café, Denver, Colorado, 2007
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Seventh Street Café, Denver, Colorado, 2007

Sunday morning is a quiet time in Denver’s neighborhoods. This image benefits from that fact – there are no cars to block our view, and the absence of diners at this café intensifies the triple incongruity at work here. The size of the portrait in the advertisement on the exterior wall of this café is incongruously large for its surroundings. Two other incongruities pose questions to the viewer. Why is the model posed in a thoughtful, almost puzzled manner – an introspective attitude that does not seem likely to draw crowds of diners to this café? And why would the café place this portrait so that the woman appears to be chewing on the fence when viewed from across the street?

(Shortly after posting this image, I was told that the woman represented on the wall of this cafe is probably an Icelandic singer known as Bjork. Does this context change the meaning of the picture? I would certainly wonder what her picture is doing on the side of a neighborhood cafe in Denver, Colorado.)

Leica D-Lux 3
1/1300s f/8.0 at 19.2mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
Phil Douglis25-Oct-2007 18:38
I hope that it's the incongruous element here that strikes your fancy, Marcia. Thank you.
Marcia Manzello25-Oct-2007 16:26
Really cool...thanks for sharing.
Phil Douglis12-Jul-2007 21:58
I left those tiles in on purpose, Tim -- they form one of eight vertical thrusts here that carry the eye across the image. I can see how those tiles would make us think of film and proof sheets, and thereby imply a continuing moment in addition to the frozen moment. Film now speaks, to most of us, of yesterday. And this cafe, with its monochromatic poster, old bistro chairs, condensed sans serif typography and aging air conditioner seems right at home in yesterday. This image could well have made in the 1970s, except of course for the singer, who is probably still relatively current.
Tim May12-Jul-2007 16:21
Your cropping has created an interesting situation for me - the line of tiles on the left side of the image seem to me to be the sprockets in a role of film. It is, then for me, as if I am looking at either a proof sheet (remember those) or a frame in a movie. I find myself anticipating what is coming next. I wonder, "How does this moment of frozen time continue to the next frame or next image?"
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