Wednesday, June 8, 2011

[flo#4] - Long Island City

[flo#4] -LIC (click on images to enlarge)

In the summer of 2010 I had an exhibition my work at The Homefront, a gallery in Long Island City, Queens, New York. It's in a central location, right off Jackson Avenue very near the E,M, and 7 trains, close to the Sculpture Center, not too far from PS1, but also directly in the whirlwind of several HUGE construction sites for office buildings.

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 (where I was shooting images of building sites for my series "Stalled") these sites are not all condos but primarily office buildings. Surrounding the area are a bunch of low rise commercial warehouse 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 of the neighborhood:

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

Empty lot waiting to be developed

Typical LIC buildings

View towards Manhattan from near 5 Pointz, a building filled with legal graffitti