VESSELS, 2006-2008

There is an astonishing graveyard of collapsing wooden and iron ships in the Arthur Kill, along the shore of Staten Island, N.Y. The boats are sinking into the mud, abraded by tides and weather as they decompose. I saw them first while photographing from a small plane, and later visited them in a motorboat to take photographs. The site feels like a cross between an archeological dump and a wild rusted garden in a swamp of oily green water. The rusted surfaces and fragmented structures are both horrifying and beautiful. Traces of their history are everywhere, but they remain mysterious and remote. Many elements are here: industrial power, the human hand, and the strength of relentless nature.

Each photograph is paired with a photogram of clear plastic trash. These images are a message from our time, our fragile debris which lasts almost forever. The photograms were made in the darkroom by placing the objects on photographic paper and exposing them briefly to light. They have the eerie truth of x-rays.

  vessels vessels vessels vessels vessels vessels vessels vessels
HARBOR, Photographs and photograms, 37 x 90, 2006-08   HARBOR - 1, Detail, Photograph and photogram, 37 x 22.5, 2006-08   HULL, Photographs and photogram,
49 x 22, 2006-08
  WINDOW, Photograph and photogram,
38 x 16, 2006-08
  FERRY, Photographs and photograms, 33 x 45, 2006-08   RAFT, Photograph and photogram, 31 x 22, 2006-08   VIEW OF NEW JERSEY, Photograph and photogram, 32 x 22, 2006-08   DECK, Photograph and photogram, 22 x 33, 2006-08