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Brian Rose's new book of photographs, Time and Space on the Lower East Side, is all about how we experience change, or lack of it, in the urban environment. The book is a collection of large format color photographs taken on the streets of New York City's Lower East Side in the years 1980 and 2010. Over those 30 years the Lower East Side has gone from being a symbol of urban blight and decay to a poster-child for urban renewal and gentrification. But, Brian's book is not a collection of side-by-side comparisons contrasting two different eras of the neighborhood, like the books in which a picture from one location is juxtaposed with a picture taken from the same spot many years later. Instead, the photographs in Time and Space on the Lower East Side reveal the year in which they were taken through small details like a pedestrian's bellbottoms, the design of a parked car, or the typography on a billboard. That is, if the photos reveal their age at all. More often than not you can't really tell what year any given picture was taken in without a thorough examination.
This week, I took a trip down to South Brooklyn for an exhibition called Park Space/Play Space, organized by one of my guests, painter Katherine Gressel.