Feb 28, 2013

Say Peekskill

This is a overview of the project. Click here for a complete archive of the photographs and interviews.

The invitation to submit a proposal for Peekskill Project V, run by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, asked for re-interpretations of the Hudson Valley in contemporary terms. In an exploratory visit to Peekskill I was immediately intrigued: a diverse but compact community closely linked to the metropolis, an impressive and rugged location, a post-industrial town with a long, sometimes difficult history, and a vibrant art community. I found myself curious about what it is like to live there. So I decided to ask some people who do.

In a series of visits I recorded audio interviews with residents, mostly encountered at random in parks, downtown, and on residential streets. After the interview I took a photograph of each participant or group.

The work is presented as an installation at the Field Library in Peekskill, a vibrant community hub. The show includes 25 portraits and the varied voices of the participants, heard on three CD players - audible separately but also blending into an ever-changing mix. The interviews are, in addition, available on headphones at the computer seen on the right in this picture of one part of the gallery. This link takes you to one interview - and the archive of the whole project. The show is open until March 28th, 2013.

In the photographs the participants are fully aware of my large-format camera, presenting themselves with a degree of deliberation. The backgrounds were often chosen in collaboration with them, utilizing what was nearby at the time of the interview.

   

Consuelo Pinto and Linda Coutryer-Haight with their portraits at the opening reception, January 12, 2013. Photos by Kianga Ellis of HVCCA.