Rarely do I talk about the process of work; attempting to seems full of fallacy, but, recently, I tried to explain to a good friend my discomfort towards people’s assumptions when I photograph on the street. If I’m lucky I am supposed a tourist, but more often I fear the presumed role of colonizer, in regards that I sense heavily the assumption of exploitation – and the hate of some reactions can’t be underestimated…it can leave an awfully miserable taste in my mouth. But there is little I can do to share the imperative that I do this with a unimaginable amount of compassion; nor to share that attempt to recognize universality in the harrowing despotism of the day in and out; nor, furthermore, to share a glimpse at a pursuit of a truth. As this is what it amounts to for me on some inordinate yet fundamental levels. Sure, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so to speak, but if this aphorism is speculative then I refuse it on a personal moral level.
Maybe it’s more simple to understand this through another conversation I had with another friend, an older photographer, when he warned me in realizing projects of these kinds; he chuckled in tones full of terrifying nihilism that he had known a photographer years and years ago who similarly photographed the street in NYC and had subsequently lost his mind and ended up being committed, to end up I think dieing alone and crazy in some sordid fashion that you’d usually associate with a man broken by war or likewise.
This, I thought to myself, was very easily imaginable.