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from the archives

Where Redbirds Sleep


maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=118060197583294432954.00000111d398383e96592&ll=40.658276,-74.009099&spn=0.01465,0.028925&z=15&om=1

Where Redbirds Sleep

The Cars

- Jim Rodgers - Thursday, September 27th, 2012 : goo

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The Cars

These two photo treatments are are from works by Rafael Rosario posted on Facebook earlier this September. www.facebook.com/rafael.rosario.9828 He's a NYC guy now living and working in Berkeley, CA. They're posted in the Brooklyn section because he shoots around here and I live in Bklyn and wrote the response below. I think more people should become aquainted with his work.

image 50065

image 50066

**Of all the works posted on Facebook I want to focus on two that centrally feature a junked car from the 1950's. Thoughts about body, time, style, form and function and all that immediately come to mind. Taking the car's picture, and metaphorically stepping on the gas one last time, gave this vehicle a final task to perform before being scrapped and rendered forever unrecognizable. This type of fateful second chance seems to get to the heart of much of all the work on view.

So much emotional meaning lies on the surface here that a second impulse -- to view these photographic treatments from a purely structural point of view - seems reasonable, even self-protective. In the work with multiple prints of the car, despite significant variations each successive "copy" is recognized as being the same vehicle cut and pasted in a sort of animation cell process. Placing each successive cell a bit higher than the one preceding it produces the sensation that the car is racing and beginning to take off in a flying motion. The most forward point of the complete sequence instantly appears to be at the left edge of the composition.

Looking at moving objects, the latest point in the sequence of linear progress represents the future's edge. When our glance is on the move viewing an image of suggested motion, past, present, and future are at the discretion of the composition. This is obvious but not trivial here. Perhaps because cars, horses, people, etc. are invariably shown racing from left to right, the "behavior" of the car seems doubly aggressive. (Is it because we read left-to-right that races seem naturally concluded, like sentences with a period, on the right edge of our visual sweep?) Here scanning time moves forward while passing back toward earlier moments in the car's progress. The force of motion weakens throughout the sequence of our viewing it. The orientation of the car keeps signaling a previously seen future point that insistently pulls us back to the beginning.

As an experiment try viewing the image in reverse. The effect is a collapsed composition. Action goes nowhere. In the sequence of events presented this way, the future no longer jumps out at us from the start. It comes too late, tangled up in the memory its beginnings.

The second work, with the car seemingly split by a rupture near center, suggests the same furious, flying motion; but again, structurally, to another purpose. No animation cells push one into another across this visual plane. The car seems to have taken off at a steep angle, like in a daredevil stunt during intermission at the car races -- the intent being to vault over a series of other cars, buses, or whatnot lined up in a number seemingly impossible to clear. Again motion is toward the left edge of the work. The front part of the car is aligned to suggest a leveling, still lifting and perhaps near landing, position; and, a rent is seen to occur between the two parts, revealing a more distant plain. This inverted triangular plane contains a large rectangular shape that may be a building seen sharing its space with tree branches striped of their leaves.

Though smaller in scale than the car, the building's dark, linear edges contrast so strongly with it that, even if too distant to produce the effect, it's not impossible to interpret the car's two sections as having been torn apart from each other upon impact with it. The branches of the trees, back lite above the building, suggest the radiating discharge from a corroded network of waiving electrical wires. Inverted elsewhere, mostly on a rubble foundation separated from the car by chunks missing from the work's paper ground, they read like surface cracks on tile or weeds sprouting up from sidewalks or in vacant lots.

That the beautifully rounded, easy dynamic flow of the early 1950's has been treated thus begins to point toward other themes that, out of respect to future viewers, I've been trying to stay clear of. It is good that what's been described in these works happens at the structural level of their narrative. What can be made to endure through art only succeeds through an engagement or confrontation with natural and volitional forces. Resisting destruction. What else are any of us doing, anyway?**

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Internet Archive: web.archive.org/web/*/http://citynoise.org/article/11488

Is This Spam?: 28th Sep 2012 - 14:43 GMT

Cause it sure sounds like it......

Jim Rodgers: 30th Sep 2012 - 02:49 GMT

No, it isn't. A review of previous posts should confirm that I show and write about what I find interesting in the city. This time, photo treatments of pictures taken here and other places by a photographer I know got me going. The work can be downloaded for nothing, and - trust me - even if what I write isn't appealing, nobody would do it for the nothing I get for it if profit was the motive. If broadcasting the enthusiasm seems like advertising, the editors can take it down (NHF).

sbr, bklyn, ny: 14th Oct 2012 - 20:40 GMT

If I had read your article without an image being available, I would want to go see it. Thanks for the eye-opening, personal experience described by you in your review!

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from the archives

Kensington Market Festival of Lights 2005


20 Photos of last year's Market of . This celebration marks the longest night in the year, Solstice. Enjoy. Photos Copyright 2005 Andrew Kopp (drewk...

Kensington Market Festival of Lights 2005

from the archives

Lost Robot


Robot in an alley near Kensington Market, Toronto. We forget sometimes, robots can get lost. It was a Sunday, the crowd had places to go and nobody stopped. I hope he was okay.

Lost Robot

from the archives

Build Our Machines Send Us to Heaven


Build Our Machines Send Us to Heaven