Teju Cole sits in the dark

In 1960, the Swiss photographer Rene Burri shot a photograph in Sao Paulo. The photograph is called ‘Men on a Rooftop’, and Teju Cole wanted to find the exact spot where the image was taken. So in March 2015, he went to Sao Paulo to look for it. It took about a week of going into high-rise buildings, asking for permission to take a picture, and trying different lenses, but finally, he found the exact spot the picture was taken, he found Rene Burri’s photograph again. In his essay ‘Shadows in Sao Paulo’ Cole says of the experience – “But in discovering all that can be known about a work of art, what cannot be known is honored even more.” This is Cole’s focus, what is not known, what cannot be known, what do we not see, where are our blind spots?

Continue reading Teju Cole sits in the dark