New Work: New York is a photographic project documenting the architecture, street activity, and urban environment of Manhattan. For the academic year 2011-12, Rose Marasco was awarded the Provost’s Research Fellowship in support of her work. She will be giving an illustrated lecture at the USM Glickman Library, on the Portland campus, in Room 423-424 on Wednesday April 25, 2012 at 4 pm. The lecture will include work from several previous projects, including the Domestic Objects and Projections series, and will set this current project within the framework of her interests and commitment as a visual artist.
While the Manhattan streets are most often filled with the bustle of rushing pedestrians and cars, her photographs allow a bit of this urban activity to be metaphorically pushed away in the effort for a singular view of the environment itself. People are present but they are transitory, as we truly are in most man-made environments. Her photographs reflect upon about what engaging with the largest city in the USA feels like.
The project began in 2010 by photographing New York City landmarks, such as Times Square and Wall Street. Her choice of materials and equipment is a pinhole camera with 4x5 inch color negative film. The nature of the camera, the color film, and the long exposures (4 to 10 seconds) required to expose the negative, give the photographs a unique and enduring quality. Therefore, the photographs are not about the specificity of the single fraction of a second that we are used to seeing. That said, Marasco is clearly interested in having the viewer know that these photographs are made now. To this end, she has been careful to include signage and activities, for example, images made at the Occupy Wall Street encampment, which set the photographs in the present.
In the words of Professor Marasco - “I enjoy the freedom the pinhole camera ‘gives’ me coupled with a large format negative of substance, which I then print digitally. Initial results were both visually promising and curiously complex, which fueled my intrigue and desire for further exploration. I have pushed myself to take more chances in organizing the frame. As I am working with a wide angle of view and no viewfinder of any kind, I have simply embraced taking risks. As the work continues, I have gotten closer to the action and merging with people, crowds, signage, shadows, and architectural details. I like the advantages of using both low and high tech materials. I believe that contemporary photographers are at an amazing place to take advantage of the range of image making devices and materials we have at our disposal.”
Her project contributes to the existing body of contemporary photographic discourse and adds compelling imagery to the list of accomplished photographers who have previously photographed Manhattan. Her plan is to exhibit the work both in Manhattan and Maine.
We invite you to join us for this unique opportunity to appreciate research, scholarship, and creative activity at USM. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.