STATEMENT (250 words)

Architecture is like communicating with the past. A form of reading all the left behind traces. The significance of the layers of paint on a wall. A forgotten doorway. The jumbled mix of signs. The layers of human history and migrations that lead to what a place has become.

Sometimes the original use of a building is so different the dissonance is striking, and it stops time, forcing the viewer to wonder about the past. That is what drove this project – the striking reuse of bank architecture in New York City. The work aims to be a photographic peeling back of the architectural forms to investigate economic and social forces that have shaped this city since it the Dutch purchased the island of Mannahatta in 1626.

There are traditional banks made of granite with beautiful marble floors and chiseled columns. This traditional form is so ingrained in our culture that emojis use it as a symbol for banks. Many of these stable structures have been transformed over the years like the neighborhoods that built them. Some are  99 cent stores, corporate drugstores or fast food chains but there are others that have morphed into high-end event spaces or even shiny electronic stores. These are not just the stories of banks but of neighborhoods that taken together show the complex ebb and flow of changes in the contemporary landscape.

 

Work so far 44 locations out of an estimated 78: