This work by Marc Auge has been hailed as important anthropology:
For example, here:
It is about non-places. Places that are intermediate. To me, they include places people pass through but don’t inhabit. Bus stops, corridors, pedestrian crossings, “lobbies” or foyers, airports, car parks, and so on. The Australian-born painter, Jeffrey Smart, seems to paint such places;
(“Waiting for the Train”)
(“Study for Taxi Stand 2002″)
This is a photograph, described as reminiscent of a Jeffrey Smart painting, and also illustrating liminality quite well:
I found this here, a picture of a loading bay, described as like being in “a particularly desolate Jeffrey Smart painting”:
I suppose loading bays are liminal places, in a sense. Anyway, it is an atmospheric picture.
There is often an element of the backstage, the “behind the scenes”; a concept discussed in Erwing Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959).
But Marc Auge was not the first to explore the concept of non-places. There is the concept of “liminality”:
and the traditional Catholic religious idea of Limbo:
This is by “a follower of Hieronymus Bosch”. Despite my interest in Bosch, I had never previously seen it. It is “Christ in Limbo” c. 1575.
Edward Relph discussed “place and placelessness” in 1976:
The concept of the lobby as a liminal or intermediate place is discussed in the preface to this book:
I like Jeffrey Smart’s work so much, that this is starting to turn into a Jeffrey Smart post, but here is a pool of photographs that remind people of his work.
Another Australian artist who likes to paint intermediate, transitional and liminal subjects, including “non-places”: Olivia Bernardoff, whose painting below is titled “Nowheresville”: