Roger Vail

Artist Information

Inconspicuous Places
The images here are all “straight” photographs – records of unique moments in time and place with no added manipulations. They come from long walks in urban settings, inspired in part by Walter Benjamin’s Das Passagen-Werk. In it he celebrates the flaneur, the person of leisure in 19th century France who strolled and observed, intently and dispassionately, the streets of Paris with no practical consideration other than the desire to see as much as possible.

“The city beckons,” as Baudelaire says, “to the flaneur as phantasmagoria – now a landscape, now a room.”

Making inside and outside one, the transparent glass of displays such as in shop windows becomes a projection of a collective imagination.

“Our waking existence,” writes Benjamin, “is a land full of inconspicuous places from which dreams arise.  All day long, suspecting nothing, we pass them by, but no sooner has sleep come than we are eagerly groping our way back to lose ourselves in the dark corridors.”


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Roger Vail - <b>4:56 pm 1-7-09 Santa Cruz</b>
Roger Vail - <b>4:00 pm 1-31-09 San Jose</b>
Roger Vail - <b>9:44 am 3-12-09 Sacramento</b>
Roger Vail - <b>1:35 pm 3-19-09 San Jose</b>
Roger Vail - <b>11:32 pm 6-21-09 Las Vegas</b>
Roger Vail - <b>7:33 am 6-22-09 Las Vegas</b>
Roger Vail - <b>5:09 pm 11-15-08 Watsonville</b>
Roger Vail - <b>3:10 pm 11-17-08 San Jose</b>
Roger Vail - <b>5:00 pm 12-31-08 Watsonville </b>
Roger Vail - <b>2:19 pm 7-11-12 Alameda</b>