Danish photographer, Peter Funch, placed these rigid confines upon his 9 year photographic project, 42nd and Vanderbilt. Narrowing the infinite opportunities NYC has to offer an artist, Funch brings to the surface the minutiae contained within a fragment of our daily routine, the short walk from Point A to Point B, reminding us that the practice of photography in general, and street photography specifically, has only scratched the surface of possibility.
Through categorical editing, equal parts intuitive and scientific, human patterning and mannerisms normally passed over on first read, become meditations on time, mortality, public and private space, the economy, and our inner selves. Funch employs a method that novelist and visual artist Douglas Coupland aptly describes in the book's afterword as "a kinder, gentler kind of surveillance."
In one example, what appears to be a diptych of a woman with images taken only seconds apart, slowly becomes a “Spot the Difference” puzzle: subtle variations in attire, hair, light and shadow emerge as we the viewer realize, in both wonder and consternation, that the images were in fact taken days, months, or perhaps even years apart.
This simple and effective mechanism employed by Funch permeates the ordinary with the extraordinary. The fact that our own unknown tendencies, together with the rhythms and denizens of our surrounding ecosystem, can endure and replay over a path traveled thousands of times, becoming akin to performance, is nothing short of a revelation.
42nd and Vanderbilt is available at TBW Books.