Photographing people on park benches is nothing new in photography, but photographers usually capture different people sitting on different benches. Ukrainian photographer Eugene Kotenko did something different: he spent four years documenting the life of a single park bench outside his house.
The series shows both the passage of time and portraits of those who pass by. We see the bench in various seasons, in various states of decay, and painted with various colors. We see leisure, love, eating, drinking, and sleeping, and waiting. The bench becomes a miniature theater in which strangers come and offer momentary glimpses into their personal lives.
The project is aptly titled, “Bench.”
The project reminds us of the famous phrase uttered in Shakespeare’s As You Like It:
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.
You can see many more photographs from this project over on Foto.ua.
P.S. For a similar photographic study of a small area over a long period of time, check out the work of photographer Ahae, who spent years shooting millions of photographs through his studio window.
Image credits: Photographs by Eugene Kotenko