Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer project in Long Island City

I wrote this last week in a stream of consciousness, its part of the process of working on an artist statement for the new collage. More thoughts and pix soon.....


I've been very kindly asked to exhibit my work in a new space opening up in Long Island City called The Homefront. It's in a central location, right off Jackson Ave. very near the E and V (or is it it M now?), towards the Sculpture Center, not too far from PS1, but also directly in the whirlwind of several HUGE construction sites for office buildings.

Since last fall I've been using a large format 4x5 camera to shoot a project based on the large number of stalled building sites in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Half of the show at The Homefront will consist of a selection of these images. The other half will be a large site specific collage installed on the walls.

I began exploring the neighborhood in the direction of Queensboro Plaza (roughly north and west). This area is mostly huge construction sites, some waiting to be started, others slowly rising, but unlike Williamsburg these sites are not all condos but primarily office buildings. Surrounding these sites are a bunch of low rise commercial spaces, a few aging tenements, some loft condo warehouse conversions, and several overpasses from the Queensboro Bridge. It's like a dystopian novel where the office-y business people are gentrifying aliens, building huge glass cities in the midst of the native species' brick and mortar villages.

One thing that I honed in on was the proliferation of mark making. The streets are ripe with brightly colored shapes and lines, some freshly painted, all denoting a code that the transient construction workers can translate; they are foreign to the average passerby . Buildings, conversely, display identifiable vestiges of time, fading handmade signs warning of obsolete violations, worn metal doors to shuttered garages, house numbers scribbled in sharpie. Construction barricades contain and endless variety of "sidewalk closed" or "sidewalk" with an arrow texts.

here are some images:

Some new buildings near the gallery (the tall Citibank building completed in 1990 has been there for quite awhile though)

Typical LIC buildings

View towards Manhattan from near 5 Pointz

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