As narrated by both Gogol and Dostoyevsky, people of all classes meet on the historical Nevsky Prospect of Saint Petersburg, where slices of life unfold in front of the viewer. Nowadays this happens on our social media feed, we are life spectator, behind a screen.
But both Gogol and Dostoyevsky warned us already back then that “everything is a dillusion, everything is a dream, everything is not what it seems”.
Rather than bringing people closer to each other social media are making us growing more lonely than ever: we are isolated, together. There’s no line between reality and dream life, between past and future and between what we see and what we feel. It’s an era of perennial consumption, of direct sharing and instantaneous fruition. We are surrounded by images, but appearances are most times deceiving and misleading, far apart from reality. We show the ideal lives we would like to live, and we validate out identity and we try be comforted by the appreciation of others. And all this is making us feel frustrated, lonely, and uncomfortable with our own lives.
Inspired by these stories, the images of the Nevsky Prospect capture the intersecting people’s lives in a snowy Saint Petersburg’s night. This non-revealing gaze doesn’t show the street’s physical essence, but only renders the feeling, our perception of it, like our actual condition of life spectators, always gazing, absorbing the world from behind a screen. We’ll only see what we want to see, what we perceive, what we imagine it to be.