For his latest project, fine art photographer Fabian Birgfeld visits the Vatican and other iconic European sites, recording the ways our cameras shape our experience of history.
How do we see the world through our cameras?That’s the question at the heart of photographer Fabian Birgfeld’s pictures of travelers taking snapshots and videos of iconic places. Shot—so far—at the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Roman Pantheon, the Vatican, Piazza San Marco, and other high temples of Old European culture and architecture, Birgfeld’s images are both haunting and straightforwardly anthropological: disembodied hands stretch into the frame; a crowd moves blindly through a room, led by the miniature glowing screens held aloft in their hands. These pictures document the many particular ways we grasp our cameras—fingers twisting, poking at buttons—and how we squint at them slightly, mesmerized by pixels. Indeed, it is the sheer ubiquity of tiny screens that has captured Birgfeld’s eye—the fact that we no longer look through our cameras but at them, watching our experiences even as they happen.
Fabian Birgfeld is represented by the Josée Bienvenu gallery in New York City.