Art Uncovered - Defying Devistation: Bushwick in the 1980s

Premiere DateJun 19, 2012
00:00 Thomas Intro
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01:35 Meryl Meisler Interview pt. 1
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04:00 Impossible Bouquet No Age
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05:04 Meryl Meisler Interview pt. 2
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09:47 The Struggle Against Unreality Matmos
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10:33 Meryl Meisler Interview pt. 3
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13:34 Grown in Shells Gary War
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15:21 Meryl Meisler Interview pt. 4
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17:30 Instrumental Galaxie 500
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19:44 Meryl Meisler Interview pt. 5
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22:37 For the Trees Matmos
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25:12 Meryl Meisler Interview pt. 6
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29:15 Tattoo of a Barcode Cex
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29:50 Meryl Meisler Interview pt. 7
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32:20 Crazy Rhythms The Feelies
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36:24 Finish
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Meryl Meisler has been taking photos of the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn for the last 30 years. Today the neighborhood is a hot bed for artists in New York City, but in the early 1980s when Meryl starting coming to the neighborhood to teach art, Bushwick was in disarray. The neighborhood was hit hard by the riots and looting that followed the 1977 black out and never really recovered. When Meryl took at job teaching at one of Bushwick’s public schools, she was confronted on a daily basis with burned out and abandoned buildings, gangs, drugs, all the things that epitomize urban decay. What stood out among all the destruction were the people who continued to thrive and carve out rich communities for themselves and their families. On her walks between the subway and school, Meryl began taking photos of people going about their lives on the streets of Bushwick and continued the practice until 1994 when she left her teaching job.

A collection of Meryl’s phtoogras from the 1980s are on view in an exhibition called Defying Devestation: Bushwick in the 1980s.  The show is appropriately on view at the Living Gallery in Bushwick until June 25th. I recently met with Meryl at the gallery to talk about her photographs.


Host Thomas
Thomas grew up in Northern California where he fell in love with music and photography while going to punk shows and shooting skate photos. He photography in college, which may or may not qualify him to host an…

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