2: Landscape as Journey To Do

Mishka Henner

No Man’s Land (2011) by Mishka Henner is one body of work that has faced particularly hostile criticism. In his series of Street View images, Henner has singled out prostitutes soliciting clients along the sides of roads on the outskirts of cities in Italy and Spain, which Google’s cameras have happened to pick up. The work also exists as a video, which animates the action of a driver appearing to ‘hone in’ and turn their head towards the women as he drives past them. Although Henner reconstructs a view from within the driving seat and passes this experience on to the viewer, he was not the actual driver. Those who interpret Henner’s images as exploitative and
voyeuristic overlook the point that through this work he draws to our attention the relentless, indiscriminate and inescapable eye of the Street View camera, and the power that is wielded by Google. The title of the work refers to the irony that, despite these women’s apparent wish to attract men, there are no men to be found within Henner’s views. But there is surely also a reference to ideas about territory and ownership, which is perhaps infringed upon by the Street View camera.