With a series of 6 screens made of articulated cut out panels, I explore Midtown Manhattan, around the Empire State Building.
A first screen, “Garment District”, explores the last industrial district of Manhattan, experiencing a slow decline with its main activity, the garment industry, being relocated to Queens or overseas. Fabric stores are giving way to peepshows and buildings to parking lots.
While photographing the construction site of the New York Times Building, I accidentally took pictures of photographer Annie Leibovitz, whose photographs were later posted on the scaffolding of the construction site. On the screen “Building Times” are represented photographer and photographed people as seen by Annie Leibovitz (top of scaffolding) and me (below).
“Pierpont Morgan Library” shows library and neighborhood from indoors. Everything, the old library as well as the new extension by Renzo Piano is being incased in glass. At the end, even the Empire State Building is incased…
In screen “Little Korea”, the frame being cut out is not enough, the canvas itself is cut out to let light going through windows and neon signs. Depending on back lighting or front lighting, the effect is of night or day.
“Lunch Time At The Incarnation” is composed of 4 panels representing the Community Church of New York and the Church Of The Incarnation framing the former B.Altman department store (today Business Library) and the Empire State building at lunch break. The center of far right panel representing the Church Of The Incarnation can be lifted and folded downward. It reveals a stained glass window with light showing through. The back of the folded part represents a food cart in 3d, with silver leaf and transparent plastic windows through which are seen Eucharistic wine and bread for sale.
A last screen, from 2011, returns to the Garment District, renamed “Fashion Center”. The 2005 screen is the starting point. A few hotels are added to frame it right and left, the workers of the garment industry are pushed to the background, the parking lot removed, construction workers and food cart vendors introduced. A flock of cutout tourists are added to the foreground, along with one of the many gingko trees recently planted.
Arrival of the Frivolous King Lère Show on Times Square in November 13 2013 is a first study. 28″ x 80″.