Andy Cush spotlights an older project that’s taken on a whole new relevance:
Photographer John Schnabel took these eerie stills using means that might have landed him in jail or an interrogation room today: by standing at the end of a runway with a telephoto lens, snapping pictures without anyone’s permission. The work was done in the mid-90s, but is now being released in a book entitled Passengers. “It was a different time and there was not the same kind of suspicion of cameras,” he told Wired. “There wasn’t such a sensitively about the airport.” Something about the graininess of the images necessitated by the zoom lens lends them an uncanny sadness that highlights the anonymity of the people inside.
Jakob Schiller respects the universality of the shots:
Schabel won’t reveal the names of the airports where he shot because he likes the idea of placeless-ness and the way it relates to air travel. Just because you change planes at the O’Hare in Chicago doesn’t really mean you’re in Chicago. When you’re flying you’re not really anywhere. Without any geographic identifiers and without any captions, Schabel’s photos blend together the same way the fields blend together at 30,000 feet or the airport buildings blend together as passengers switch aircraft.
(Photo courtesy of Twin Palms Publishers)