The Sky is the Limit

Monday, August 1, 2011

I have been roaming midtown (and downtown as well,  but this is midtown right now) lately and taking a lot of photos. There is a lot of old and new New York there, just kind of rubbing up against each other. 1st and 2nd Ave between 42 and 55 is interesting.

The skyline of NYC is fascinating.  This is not a unique observation. There have been several takes on it. If you are any student of art or photography you know what I mean, ( I would mention names but doing the research is too much work). It is the horizon, our landscape, if and when we raise up our gaze. It can be inspiring, grand and imposing. It can just be in the way of seeing any further. May I indulge myself for a moment and say it is the jagged intersection between the infinite and the quotidian; what we wish for and what we have? I am experiencing this landscape of NYC more and more as an analogy for the self-reflexive nature of identity  -  the structure of personality.

This photo which I took in 1978, just after I arrived in NYC, is the catalyst for this. It has been bugging me for 30 years. The skyline, the pigeon, the guy coming down the stairs to the subway...


“Something going on there”, I think.

If so, what?

I have kept coming back to it over the years, mostly unsuccessfully, but I have persisted. It gets back to the ineffable really (if it is any use at all as a picture) , but like most people I have a need to rationalize.

Over time I have named the project many things. “The Pigeon Project”,  “If You can Name It..” and others.

It is currently referred to as “The Tension of Reflexive Identity”. You can see the progression here. Very much a work in progress ... but I have a feeling it is going to stick.

Anyway, it’s nice to get out of the neighborhood occasionally.