Contemporary Existence


By:alessandro d'andrea
lambda print on metallic paper
48”x86” (122 cm x 219 cm)

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Contemporary Existence

Each of these images is composed of three dif ferent photographs super imposed over one another, then torn so as to expose the underlying layers. The inspiration for them came to me whi le I was walking in midtown Manhattan in the area bounded by 21st and 31st Streets between 1st and 10th Avenues. The f renetic pace of building in this area has created a streetscape ful l of construction si tes and sheets of plywood covered wi th posters. I had a f lashback of my childhood in Rome ,of the hot, sunny af ternoons when I would set out with a soccer bal l under my arm toward interminable games that only night fall would bring to an end. The wal ls of the ci ty were covered in posters - advertisements that sometimes formed a layer as much as one centimeter thick - and the torn placards permitted glimpses of those beneath them, creat ing a patchwork of colors and images. These photos are a kind of synthesis of those memories and my present experience, but their repetitive quali ty and the striking vert ical ity of New York City make these spaces seem more ominous and imposing than my chi ldhood recol lect ions of Rome. The di f ferent layers superimposed are a bit l ike dif ferent stages in one's li fe, where a tear in the surface br ings to light a port ion of the past that continues to shape the present. They are strata of a reality in constant evolut ion, in which the continual succession of new posters over the old recalls to mind the world of continuous movement and change that is New York City, where like Heracli tus' river, you can   never step twice into the same waters.


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