I like looking back at my old work and evaluating my intent, techniques and experiments. My patience has grown over the years and the projects I considered finished (that were not!) or never finished (because of impatience/time ) often become fodder for new ideas.
I recently re-discovered one of my handmade books from my “college years” called Once Block Radius that I shot when I briefly lived just North of Toronto’s Moss Park in 1993. A live/work space for me has always about the space and not about the neighborhood, so I wasn’t concerned with the reputation of the area, the extra roommates (mice and insects etc) or the criminal elements, I just needed cheap space to work and a door that locked. But I was aware of where I was and one day between school and work I took a walk to see what was within a the block of where I lived on a single roll of film.
The photographs of One Block Radius are an examination and a document of how I made and ultimately curated my pictures as a young artist/photographer. The seedy under-belly of the neighborhood wasn’t foreign to me, but looking at my photos I see my consumption of it as casual and hesitant. It was a sketchy hood (there was always something to watch or “going down” from my second story bay window – reality tv 1993! ) and I was horrified, mystified and fascinated by the failure, poverty and challenges in the area but ultimately I was careful not to get to close. I intended to revisit the project but I moved shortly after, and save a ride-along I did with 51 Division a few years later I have only been back a couple times with the TLR Club to shoot George St and the Filmores Hotel.
The book itself and the prints glued(!) inside are not worth reproducing so I scanned the negatives instead.
I am planning on reshooting the book in the next couple weeks and I think a frame for frame will be tricky but I’ll definitely take more than a roll of film! I’ll keep you posted!