Italian Views is a continuation of Gail Albert Halaban’s series Out My Window, featuring intimate domestic portraits against the cinematic backdrop of the city. Here, Albert Halaban shifts her focus from Paris to Italy—steadying her gaze through the windows of others in communities throughout Florence, Milan, Venice, Palermo, Naples, and Rome. Through Albert Halaban’s lens, the viewer is welcomed into the private lives of ordinary Italian people. Her photographs explore the conventions and tensions of urban lifestyles, feelings of isolation in the city, and the intimacies of home and daily life. Paired with the photographs are short vignettes by Albert Halaban imagining what the neighbors might see of her subjects on a daily basis. Francine Prose’s wonderful essay discusses the curious thrill of being a viewer. This invitation to imagine the lives of neighbors across windows renders the characters and settings personal and mysterious.
Gail Albert Halaban (born in Washington, D.C., 1970) received an MFA in photography from Yale University. She has taught at the Pasadena Art Center and International Center of Photography, and at Yale, among other notable institutions. She has been included in both group and solo exhibitions internationally. Her previous books include Out My Window (powerHouse, 2012) and Gail Albert Halaban: Paris Views (Aperture, 2014).
Francine Prose is the author of twenty works of fiction. Her previous books include the novels My New American Life, Goldengrove, A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award.