The presence of a person in an image functions as an entry point for the viewer, and in this case, it also provides a tantalizing thrill. The dancer, precariously balanced 100 feet above the Hudson, inspires the fear and awe associated with the 18th-century notion of the sublime.
Even Jordan Matter himself admitted to feeling anxious while taking this photograph. He asked his assistant to hide behind the wall and “spot” the dancer. But Evgeniya Chernukhina was calm, confident, and enjoying the view: “If I wouldn’t be sure in myself, I would never do such a thing.”