digital witness

what's the point of even sleeping
if i can't show it if you can't see me
what's the point of doing anything?

Lyrics by Annie Clarke (St. Vincent)

The window was the weirdest thing: a bubble of glass that separated the diner from the street, curving sinuously back against itself. This window is unique in Hopper's work. Though he painted hundreds, maybe thousands, in his life, the rest are simply openings, apertures for the eye to gaze through. Some catch reflections, but this was the only time he ever painted glass itself, in all its ambiguous physicality. Simultaneously solid and transparent, material and ephemeral, it brings together what he elsewhere did in parts, fusing in one devastating symbol the twin mechanisms of confinement and exposure. It was impossible to gaze through into the diner's luminous interior without experiencing a swift apprehension of loneliness, of how it might feel to be shut out, standing alone in the cooling air.

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

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