Taken from the top of an open air tourist bus which passed by the wake of James Brown at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem on the 28th December 2006, DSC00123.JPG is a snapshot of an event that I encountered by chance, reflecting my own transient position in relation to what I saw. Barricades, police, and masses of people could signal a very different set of circumstances depending on your experiences and where you’re coming from. On the other hand, the long queues of people paying their last respects to James Brown are reminiscent of the snake-like formations of people who stood for hours to vote in the first South African democratic elections in 1994. Each attest to the determination of people to have their sentiments and voices heard.
At the Lenox Lounge, at this very moment, the heartbeat of Harlem echoed in everyone’s hearts. The echoes took form in music and dance, generating a spirit and energy that united us all.
front in back
sense in front
This photograph, titled Wagner Runoff #1, is the first in a series called Runoffs. It reflects personal ruminations on my childhood memories of home in an urban housing complex. Like memory itself, each photograph is a reflection, in this case a standing pool of water on a playground. The stillness of the water becomes a mirror in which I see not just the building but also a portrait of my early self. The blue sky matches my youthful optimism to explore life beyond the complex. Together the playground, water, building, and sky capture a point of origin where I am touched by the idealism of my youth and my adult ambivalence when I reconsider that place and time.