Frans Peter Verheyen

on your way to work aka collision course

For a photograph of city-bred suits making their morning commute (and especially for a photograph with the words “collision course” in its title), this is an oddly, beautifully peaceful image. There isn’t a hint of the usual train station chaos, none of the dizzying motion blur you might expect, no close-ups of busy feet or elbows jabbing into backs or even a sense of vast pressing urban crowds spreading over the landscape like a colony of well-coordinated ants.

Instead we have the smooth repeated pattern of a cool stone floor, a man and a woman traversing elegantly parallel paths, and a single brilliant shaft of light gently stair-laddering across the frame, as if laying a trail that is guiding the two human figures towards its ultimate source. The entire composition is so geometrically graceful, so thrumming with balance and tension, that it’s almost spiritual. It’s like a Zen vision of what it might be like to go to work in the morning in a mythical office-worker heaven, or a kind of visual distillation of a blissful near-death experience.

There’s a great deal to celebrate about city life, but if there’s anything it tends to be missing, it’s pools of meditative calm. If I could escape into this photograph at about 8am every weekday, I would. Or hey—maybe, just maybe, what I really need to do is move to Paris…

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