As suggested by its title, Pipe Opening (2002) depicts a hole in a wood wall exposed by the removal of a pipe. In contrast to his signature immense tableaux, Pipe Opening is a direct but modest document of a “real” scene that Wall “encountered by chance” in daily life. However factual, the image indicates certain enigmatic significance, allowing multiple interpretations. Wall encourages the viewer to engage with the scenario to imagine the before and the after of the moment.
Internationally renowned photoconceptualist Jeff Wall is famous for his large-format lightboxes whose subject matter ranges from figurative portraiture to urban environment to mundane objects to elaborately constructed scenes. Hovering between documentary realism and fictional storytelling, and between photographs and films, Wall’s works are experienced rather than looked at.