Engaging in the activity of observation, I have become a voyeur into brief snippets of my neighbor’s life. Through the peephole in my door, I am allowed to view a narrow scope of the outside world. The majority of that scope is focused on my neighbor across the hall and the common space that divides our personal spaces. The activities that take place in this common and transit space are quick and without context forcing my curiosity into overdrive. I often linger to see if someone will return or to catch pieces of dialogue that might provide clues as to what is going on during another person’s day.
An unusual sense of intimacy between me and my neighbor, that he knows nothing about, has been a unique development of this observation and curiosity mix. I find myself taking note if the lights in his place are on or if I can hear the television (the doors are thin), or even if a package has been sitting in front of his door too long. This intimacy is part of the nature of living in an apartment complex. You naturally hear comings and goings. You are surrounded by shared walls as you agree to live with a bunch of strangers, but promise to stay in your cubby. I have one-upped the intimacy for myself and my neighbor through observation and imagination.
I am forcing the viewer to become the voyeur, an activity we’ve all participated in but maybe not so blatantly.
All images and text © Lauren Lohman
By Lauren Lohman