Analyzing Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York

mortons photo

In Nersessova’s “Tapestry of Space”, she analyzes and provides support for the purpose behind the photography in Margaret Morton’s “The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City”. Nersessova discusses the misguided perceptions that many people have about homes/homelessness. She talks about how just because someone lives on the street it does not mean they are homeless; their home is simply wherever they chose be. She uses the Situationist International (SI) organization as support for the main ideas behind Morton’s photography. SI believes that we as a society are consumed by images of things we do not need. Situationist International believes that it is essential for us to understand the space we occupy as well as spaces around us. Nersessova makes the point that the working class struggles because the system is set up to work against them rather than for them. Morton’s photography captures the poverty stricken individuals of New York as apposed to the industrialization and market that everyone thinks of when New York comes to mind. Morton’s interviewees, Bernard and Bob, stated that living above ground distracts one from finding themselves, while living below ground allows one to “achieve the level of consciousness” that is necessary to be one with yourself. Nersessova explains that the authorities have the power to shape people’s experiences in the city because they instruct tourists where to go during their visit. For example, the authorities may only put certain destinations in a brochure and only want people to see the well-known restaurants and attractions as apposed to the small family owned restaurants in the area. As a result of this, people are not able to gain the full experience of being in that space. Nersessova also emphasizes that homeless people tend to have more of a relationship with the city then those who live in homes in the city and, essentially, every thing we do as humans is an interaction with the environment.