Since he discovered photography, Ryan realized that there was something about the order and stillness of a picture that made sense to him. The photographs are his attempt at explaining something we don’t quite have words for. Throughout all of them, there is an overriding sense of estrangement and loneliness, but he believes collectively, they are windows into the parts of our lives that we don’t readily present to anyone but ourselves. Moments of quiet alienation, which appear both universal and unsettling. These are images that have never existed before, and will never exist again. They are like retroactive memories – appearing in his mind first and then staged and captured as these prints, later. There are no recognizable landmarks or tourist attractions, but rather, something he finds much more interesting – the way we feel when we don’t think anyone is watching.
The process of making these pictures (and he says “making” rather than “taking”, because taking implies that it was all there, waiting to be captured) involved dozens of exposures and countless hours. Sometimes months, or even years, depending on the setting. If you were to see the locations of these places on that same day, it would look as though an entire film was being lit, rather than just one picture.
It is Klassa’s hope that you will find something that feels familiar in these pictures, that they’ll find a place within your mind that says, “You’re not the only one. Someone else understands.” He really does. If these pictures accomplish what he has set out to do, then hopefully he will have done his part in, if not eliminating, then at least decreasing, the distance between us all.