Uncovering New York’s ‘Ugly Truth’ truth Photography- A Tapestry of Space Summary

To completely understand “Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York” by Irina Nersessova you have to comprehend her primary and secondary research. Nersessova’s purpose in writing this complex analysis of public space in New York in the 1990s is to uncover the real New York architecturally and ultimately remember the forgotten. She does this by using her primary source, Margaret Morton and her photography, as a guide to reveal “the city as public space and tourist attraction, and the work and experience of domestic architecture” (Nersessova). Nersessova mentions the Situationist International or SI, which accounts for her secondary resource which helps support Morton’s photography. This organization helps support the reasoning behind why New York is the way it is. They are against images of illusion like advertisement because they tend to cover the squalor destitution, and they believe that the pictures have been manipulated and prevent people from distinguishing the reality. SI used psychogeography, which pertains to the emotion and tie a city has to a person or people, to explain their theory and belief of capitalism being a threat to humanity, Nersessova states that the pattern of New York and how its structured and built around attractions and tourists covers up the people surrounding the city. “Psychogeography thus produced a social geography of the city.” (Nersessova) The city being known for its tourism contributes to the homeless being overlooked. This ties into Morton’s photography because it reveals the ugly truth of the city and the forgotten people. In this article the words ‘flâneur’ and ‘dérive’ come up a lot. This is in contrast to Morton’s work and the split between which one it might be. “Morton employs the dérive, and in the responses of the shanty town residents, she finds their simultaneous participation in the derive.” Morton’s work seeks darkness and what’s really going on, she uncovers the tunnels of New York and explores the people underground. Nersessova goes as far into stating that the city has been ‘exploited’ and the less fortune are being pushed out of their own city because they don’t contribute to the city and businesses aren’t profiting off of them. They are basically useless and lazy, to say the least. The city’s goal is to completely push these people out because they ruin the perfect image of New York. “The city has become an area to be exploited by all who wish to profit from it. In order to profit, businesses have to expand, bring in the wealthy, and attract tourists. The means to this goal has been to push the poor out of sight.” This basically means that New York is a façade. It’s structured specifically to bring in tourist and money and take out the poor. Nersessova explains that Morton’s work convey’s the bigger picture of the city and its truth. “Morton captures their homes and retells the stories of the inhabitants of domestic architecture. To embark on this project is to remember that to patronize is also to demean, and patronization is not completely unlike the demonization of the population living below the poverty line because both approaches convey perceived inferiority.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *