171107 5th and 89th - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

My print for this Wednesday's meeting of the Focal Forum. 

At the last gathering a friend of mine brought a photo from inside this building, so I'm partly bringing this in response. I've only visited this spot in New York City once, and while I'm thrilled to see a parking garage repurposed to house artwork, I usually spend my time at MoMA or even the Met when I need a place to get away from the weather.

We've also been having, through photographs, a discussion about "street photography" and the ethics surrounding photographing people. So this is my contribution. It's a photo that I almost certainly wouldn't take today, or at the very least these days I would want to go over and make contact with them, to see if I could help them find where they're going. They seemed to be tourists, planning their next move, because he's looking at a map while she's checking her watch, though not impatiently. 

Looking at a map, checking a watch – seven years ago to the week, when I took this photo, I had no idea how quickly those gestures would become archaic. So here, perhaps, time has added some interest and purpose to the image that wasn't there originally. 

At the start of November 2010 the Fujifilm X100 barely existed, "street togs" meant sweat pants, and the pervasive use of facial recognition and the self-infliced surveillance state of social media would have sounded like an unbelievable dystopian nightmare. So the photographic world has changed a bit, as well as how we find our way around and know the time. But maybe that's the key – to wait and see if the world changes, and how that affects our earlier work.


Powered by SmugMug Log In