timepieces

This project is aimed at photographing a series of public spaces in the city and reshaping them both spatially and temporally to represent the flux of the city and its inhabitants. When we stand in one spot for an extended amount of time, particularly a populated square in a dense city such as Brussels, we begin to see the behaviors and patterns of its inhabitants. Some walk right through determined to reach their destination, others wander aimlessly from each corner to the next and then back again, and then there are those that are content to live in and interact with this space daily, shopping, drinking and eating almost exclusively in their own neighborhoods. With Timepieces I am observing this spectacle, documenting the peculiar behaviors and interactions taking place and then reconstructing the scene to expand space and rewrite time.

Each piece is made up of 25 to 60 individual photographs taken on color film with a 35 mm camera. The camera is placed on a panoramic tripod head and rotated both vertically and horizontally in 20-degree increments, generally rendering a 260-degree-ish panorama. The pieces are then carefully fitted together by hand, exaggerating the contours of the city and creating continuous narratives that activate the space. Each piece incorporates coexisting continuous narratives that contribute multiple storylines, displaying the passing of time in one single image. Additionally, there is a collective experience that is enhanced by the expansion of space, combining all the glances and experiences of passerby’s and engaging us in a more realistic way of seeing.

As I did more and more of these pieces I began to see the benefits of putting them back into the streets and giving them back to the people. My hope was that the pieces themselves would contribute to the movement of the city by engaging a curious onlooker or even generating a quick glance. So I began putting them up in the streets, close in proximity to where they were shot, but not in the actual place. This way people would likely recognize it, but not be able to look around and begin to compare, allowing their imagination and memory to take the lead. After a few days my first piece began to peel away, visibly revealing alternate layers of the collage. Just as I had constructed each collage piece by piece, they began to weather and deconstruct piece by piece, poetically engaging the flux of the streets, emphasizing that crowds assemble just as quickly as they disperse.