out the window, a painter of space / by Matthew Thompson

Le Saut dans le Vide, Yves Klein and Harry Shunk, 1960

   What does it mean to take a deliberate step out the window? How best to describe the heady rush upon the ledge, those vivified final moments when one turns away from what is safe and leans into the expanse of a new and unknown dream?

   A photomontage of Yves Klein leaping into thin air, published in his Dimanche broadsheet. Klein called himself a "painter of space," and referred to this photo as evidence of his ability to undertake unaided lunar travel. He also used it as evidence against NASA's then flourishing lunar program, which he saw as hubristic and foolish. The image was created by combining a photo of Klein dropping into a safety net with a photo of an empty street.