Irina Nersessova’s Tapestry of Space examines Margaret Morton’s books The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City and Fragile Dwelling. She begins by explaining what these books were focused on- some of the poorest streets of New York captured on camera and in word. Nersessova also explains the ideas and materials behind Morton’s’ work for example the Situationist International theories.
These poor streets “housing” the homeless and those homes are not described just literally but, also by the way they relate to the people that build them. In other words, a home is an extension of yourself. The way these homes are put together are a façade of society’s accepted norms and expression of self. Homeless is not described as not having a home, it is lacking stability in housing.
Nersessova then expounds on where Morton’s ideas stem from as referred to earlier- Marxist ideology. The examination of the environment was onset by Morton’s beliefs like anti-capitalism and psychogeography which lies in Situationst International theory. She then delineates what Situationist International entails. It primarily divulged capitalist representation in our lives and human interaction with capitalism. An example of this interaction being the items advertised to get into our heads, subconsciously having us believe we need to have this product or service. Even beyond capitalism, any power must be questioned as they focus on keeping a certain hierarchy. Homelessness is then a sense, goes hand in hand with the ideals presented by SI especially presented by Morton’s New York and the way she moved through the city to find these sects of the city.
The way that Morton moved through the city is then described to us. A photographer in a setting would take an objective stance to the city and move through the city with knowledge of how that environment can change a behavior. This is known as a dérive Nersessova says and in part what Morton was acting as. Morton was not only a dérive working to photograph the places she wandered; she looked at from the subject’s standpoint. In this attempt she tried to show how the subject felt internally in comparison to the environment.