'Von Melzer's magic is capturing small moments not meant to be seen.'
When I was still in University, as part of my degree, I had several field placements in different hospitals. Because I was studying psychology, most often I was scheduled to work on the psychiatric ward. Because hospitals run around the clock, many of my shifts were scheduled from midnight to eight a.m, the graveyard shift. Where I lived, the last bus left the roads at 10:30pm, so except for the odd nights when I was able to borrow a car, most nights I walked the 40 minute trek to the hospital.
The route to the hospital was not new to me, I had biked and walked it with my dog many times when I was young. But the walk was much different towards the midnight hour. People weren't out and about, most were now behind locked doors, secured safely inside their homes. It was quieter, darker and and ripe for quick moments of voyeurism.
Walking that route during the day, the sunlight usually prevented anyone from seeing inside houses and rooms from the street. It was different at night, especially if blinds and curtains were left open. Then, the rooms were lit up like a stage, and those outside, invisible in the audience, in the darkness. Between 11:15pm and midnight you might expect there was plenty to see, but for the most part, it was people in their livingrooms watching TV and the odd fridge door opening for a late night snack. That was however, when you focused on the first floor. As my walks continued, I knew if I wanted to see anything interesting, I needed to look up.
Most of our live's mundane daily routines happens occur the main floor. The cooking, eating, watching television and socializing. The more intimate pieces of our lives occur upstairs on the second and third floors. This is where we sleep, where we shower and bathe and engage in our erotic pursuits. It is also upstairs we are more likely to let our guard down. Thinking we're alone, without eyes or judgement upon us, we expose ourselves, physically and even more importantly, emotionally.
I wish I could tell you that I have tons of stories of seeing naked men in the mist of sexual acts, but I sadly cannot. I have one recollection however, that is strongly embedded in my memory vault. I return to this memory on occasion, replaying it from time to time. There was one room, and just one man, whose third floor window had me slow my pace every time I got closer to his home. I am pretty sure he didn't actually own the house, although a big building, his third floor window looked more like it was a part of a flat that he was renting.
I never saw him naked, but he was always in his underwear, usually white briefs, that even from 20 yards away looked old, worn and beautifully thin. Like my walk to work, this guy had a routine, and he stuck to it. The room had curtains, but they were never closed. I walked under his bathroom window many times before I started looking up, but after my first glimpse of him, my eyes were locked to the four by six pieces of glass every time I went by.
At 11:30 pm, usually right on the dot, he and his skimpy white skivvies were in front of that bathroom window shaving over the sink. If I walked by before 11:30 I missed him, but if at 11:30, or shortly after, he was at work removing his days facial growth. My guess is he shaved before bed and maybe right after watching the 11p.m news. I would put him at about 26 or 27, dark short hair and a great body. He was not thin or overly fit, but strong, built and sexy as hell.
I caught him most week nights without fail, except on Friday and Saturdays when his apartment was usually pitch black. Either he worked those nights, or was out having fun. I never saw another person in his apartment, not even once. This allowed my imagination about his life and who he was to run free. Had I seen either a woman or a man with him, I may have felt more restricted with with where my thoughts wandered as I walked by.
When my placement at the hospital ended, I purposely drove past his apartment a couple of times at 11:30 pm. I caught a few quick glances, but the view from the road was not nearly as good in the car as when I walked. For few months one fall however, he and his third floor window became a stimulating part of my nightly walk to work.
Von Melzer is a master at exploring the voyeuristic piece that we all have inside. Most of us keep this piece of ourselves mostly hidden, but many tap into it as part of their erotic lives. Some of the men here are peeking out, but all beautifully visible for anyone staring up at Von Melzer's Third floor window.
'I can say that it is a completely different the mood that you can get from shooting during the day than the night. Because I'm on the 3rd floor on a busy street, its nice to play with feeling of having someone naked next to the window. I don't have much cover up, so if someone down walking on the street and looks up at the right moment, they can get a pleasant view. Like somebody said one time: eyes are windows to our soul, well I guess we can say that windows let's us see another's people souls.'