Summary of Irina Nersessova’s Tapestry of Space

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.

42 thoughts on “Summary of Irina Nersessova’s Tapestry of Space

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  • Irina Nersessova’s “Tapestry of Space” delves into Margaret Morton’s books, “The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City” and “Fragile Dwelling,” which focus on some of the poorest streets of New York, captured through photography and text. Nersessova unpacks Morton’s exploration of these spaces, emphasizing that they’re not just physical structures but extensions of the individuals who inhabit them. Homelessness, in Morton’s lens, is not merely a lack of shelter but a lack of housing stability.

    Drawing from Marxist ideology and Situationist International theory, Morton’s work critiques capitalism’s influence on society and the power dynamics it perpetuates. Situationist International theory highlights how capitalism shapes human interaction and perception, often subconsciously persuading individuals to conform to societal norms. Morton’s photography reflects this critique, uncovering the hidden realities of marginalized communities within the city.

    Nersessova also discusses Morton’s approach to navigating the city, likening it to the concept of a “dérive,” where individuals explore urban spaces with an awareness of how the environment influences behavior. Morton not only documented the physical spaces she encountered but also aimed to capture the internal experiences of her subjects within these environments. Through her work, she sought to shed light on the complex relationship between individuals and their surroundings, challenging conventional narratives about homelessness and urban life. buhran bolu

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