The hitchhiker stands still, thumb extended, while the scene around him is in constant motion. This coexistence of inertia and movement creates different planes in the image that amplify the rupture between the immobile subject and his surroundings. The hitchhiker’s stance represents a request for help. The traffic that doesn’t stop implies indifference. As in Youhou, the call receives no answer.
The viewer standing before the work mirrors the hitchhiker, standing alone. Traffic flows between these two solitary figures. The speed of the cars, the dry sound of their passing signifies indifference. It separates the viewer from the protagonist and leaves him at a remove, contemplating the hitchhiker’s failed request. The use of a static sequence shot lends an impression of real time and no reverse shot is used, so that the viewer’s perspective does not change.
The hitchhiker’s exaggerated inertia contrasts with the incessant movement of the passing cars and lets us know the scene is staged. His gesture represents an address that is not directly aimed at the viewer.