Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Photo Series

I've started working on a photo series called "What Happened Here?" I've been riding my bike around the city a lot and I see a ton of strange sights that leave me practically asking aloud, "What (the hell) happened HERE?" Maybe that's really what the show should be called. I took several photos today. What inspired the series was an innocent, ordinary enough occurence: I was riding my bike through Williamsburg the other day, I think I was on Wythe St. or around N. 5th, and I saw a pair of pink underwear flattened on the dirty asphalt. They'd been run over a bunch of times but they were still mostly intact. I thought about all the different scenarios that could have taken place to bring those underwear to that spot, and I snapped a photo, so I could remember that moment forever. As I was riding away, I thought of the idea to take pictures of all those kinds of odd things I see and put them together in a show I would call, "What happened here?" I might even do some detective work and try to find out what did happen there. And if I can't figure out what actually happened, then I'll make something up that will probably be much more imaginative than the actual thing that happened, though sometimes spontaneously interesting things happen that are very crazy and/or bizarre. You all listen to, watch, or read the news, right?

Today, I saw several things that I captured with my camera to use in this show. I won't tell you what they are, I'll leave it as a surprise, but I will tell you this: I was riding my bike down 2nd or 3rd Avenue on my way back down to the cozy little lower east side, and I saw this installation on the sidewalk that was very demanding. It was a few very charred up objects that maybe were supposed to represent "New York" or "driving" or "being on the street" or what have you, objects such as a street light, a garbage can full of garbage, a street pole with a bike chained to it, and a parking meter. All of them were obviously burned just a few points before becoming unrecognizable objects. Then, behind it was a huge advertisement on a wall, giving service to Nissan Maxima. Inside the wall, an entire real live Nissan Maxima, white, was parked. It was a lot of work for what they were trying to say. They could have just parked the car on the street. Why don't car companies do that - just give away a few thousand cars so that college kids will drive their friends around in them and advertise while also running errands or having fun!

It was a pretty neat exhibit, I guess, was what it was, but I know the credit shouldn't get to go to Nissan Maxima. Some artist is out there somewhere who did those pieces, burned them in their studio or what have you, otherwise perhaps they were actual objects burned in an actual fire somewhere, maybe 9/11 or something. But I doubt it. They looked good, though. The general idea of the ad was like, Nissan Maxima will burn your eyes out or something. It's so hot, it's on fire. It melts parking meters and lamp posts whenever you drive by them. It's a dangerous, dangerous, hot car. That is on fire.

I wonder how much the dude or chick got who came up with the idea to do the ad, versus the dude or chick who actually made that burned up art?


I know that you live in my building
I saw all your clothes in the washer
I tried to put mine in but yours were there sitting,
and I couldn't tell you to take them out, dammit
Because I don't know you or where I could find you
So I had to touch all your underwear and shit
I put them on top of the washing machine
A layer of dust made it's home in between
And put my clothes in, I had somewhere to be
And not in the basement of Pitt 63
I hope you don't think that I'm rude or a hag
But if you leave your clothes too long in the wash
And I am the one who does find them astray
I'll steal a nice shirt before I'm on my way
I feel that will teach you that no one's your maid
And especially not me, unless I'm getting paid

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