The dense, angular architecture and gridded layout of The Loop has a of way making people appear and sometimes even feel alone. In an intensely active section of one of the nation’s largest cities, I perceive a separation between individuals as they pass through the built space.
Beginning as an attempt to reconnect with the city and people in it, I started making photographs of life on the street, in-line with the long-established tradition of street photographers, and in-line with my training as a photojournalist. I made candid captures only. I sought out pictures that presented narratives that were common, familiar and somewhat but never exactly reproducible, just like the act of walking a familiar path. This approach was driven by an inquiry regarding the value of our quotidian existence as opposed to the heightened and often artificially represented drama of the anomalous moments that are often sought out.
The experience of photographing left me feeling voyeuristic and shielded, but paradoxically continued to reinvigorate my sympathy and empathy towards society at large. The realization came that pictures had no narrative beyond a self-projected one, people became symbols for other people, variables even. Any meaning derived from the picture was as true as it was possibly false. The street was a stage, and with that the fourth wall remained, separating people, sometimes individually, sometimes in groups, but always presenting polarization. The eventual use of various media (photography, painting, collage, drawing, digital compositing and digital manipulation) allows for multiple interpretations of the experience of being amidst and watching a pedestrian life, but not moving with it. The importance of the act of photographing faded, but repeated exposure to the space insisted that the images continued to be interpreted beyond the initial voyeuristic act. The most explicit dimension in the work, the photographs, begin to fade in meaning when considered amongst color fields, collages and even in a sequence amongst other photographs. There is no explicit, final representation and there is no concrete truth about how we appear or will appear again.