© Boaz Halaban
Gail Albert Halaban

Gail Albert Halaban, who lives and works in New York, began photographing when she was 6, when she made a camera for her first grade science fair. She holds an MFA from Yale University.

Her art explores the tension between public and private life, what is seen by all, and what is hidden. The series Out My Window is a collection of images taken through and into windows in New York City, she acknowledges unspoken voyeurism and exhibitionism, tells us to admit we all do it, and then pushes us to confront the hope, isolation and other emotions that lie behind the gaze.

The pictures seem intrusive, but are nearly all posed. The residents are collaborators and their apartments are lit specifically to make these pictures, which explore a defining urban experience: becoming secretly familiar with the neighbors’ most intimate moments.

In the end, the process of producing this series of images is a kind of performance that serves as a remedy for the symptoms that they portray: by ringing on doorbells, Albert-Halaban helps bring anonymous neighbors into each others’ lives. The set-up of the camera and the staging of the resultant photograph become an occasion for new friendships.

[Edwynn Houk Gallery]