By the late 80’s I had worked a couple of times for the ultra-hip NYC firm Drentell Doyle Partners. One of their big clients was World Wide Plaza, for which they did seemingly everything, at least the cool looking stuff. Found online: ‘Created to document an exhibition titled “The New Urban Landscape,” held at New York’s World Financial Center in 1988, this catalog contains a bewildering collection of arcane stories, cryptic essays, impressionistic photographs, and even a five-foot fold-out collage. The exhibition attempted to address the ever-changing urban environment through images, music, and dance and appears to have been a great success’.
The show was part of a larger celebration of the completion and opening of the World Wide Plaza, and featured many well known contemporary artists and architects, who were invited to ‘Create visual works that addressed issues about the “city,” both positive and negative’. So many people had a finger in this pie it is hard to tell who actually curated it. Participating artists included Nam June Paik, Joel Otterson, Vito Acconci, Richard Wentworth, and olde pal Jon Kessler, among many others. I was thrilled to be asked by Bill Drentell and Stephen Doyle to do my own photographic interpretation of the exhibition. In the catalog they published a four page photo essay which contained over 30 of my mini collages, plus the 5 foot long pull-out poster extravaganza.
Editors note: this was a strange moment in my art making – I was growing increasingly bored with my gridded composite panoramic approach, and was experimenting with simpler, rougher ideas, shooting in black & white film, printing on color paper, and adding subtle color shifts in the darkroom. The show itself was housed in the North Gatehouse, which was still under construction. What struck me immediately upon entering the space was how the art fit (blended?) so well in the raw, unfinished space, in some instances it was not immediately clear where some works ended and the space began… and what seemed to hold it all together was this massive linear web of pipes, tubes and conduit running across the unfinished ceiling of the entire space. It became the unifying ‘meta’ motif for the pictures I made, in particular the collage. I saw it all as one unified entity…. I still don’t know exactly how I feel about this work, the whole enterprise was a bit of a punkish fever dream. I certainly was not yielding to any representational photography impulses, that’s for sure. DDP loved it; they had a framed print in the offices back then. Fortunately for the artists, they had another photographer taking real pictures….