lfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window comes to mind when looking at Gail Albert Halaban’s book of photographs of city dwellers peering into their neighbors’ windows, Out My Window. The photographs capture the vast city landscape, and within the landscape, floating high above the ground, are portraits of strangers caught in private moments. These beautiful color pictures of voyeuristic architectural landscapes capture both the intimacy and remoteness of life lived in the proximity of so many strangers.
Like so many New Yorkers, Halaban can’t help staring into her neighbors’ windows, but she’s made an art of it. Most of her big color photographs are views across streets, alleyways, or airshafts into apartments. A man plays with his dog; a young couple cuddle with their baby; the solitary stand in Hopperesque isolation. The fact that Halaban has staged these moments doesn’t make them any less resonant of the contradictory impulses of metropolitan life: the desire to connect and the need to be left alone. Voyeurs will be frustrated by Halaban’s polite scenarios, but she’s playing the good neighbor.
—Vince Aletti, The New Yorker