I often find myself inadvertently repeating the phrase "these uneasy streets" when I am deeply entrenched in a Mappings project. Like a mantra it rises up from the deepest recesses of my mind, bouncing around inside my blood, until it settles down somewhere in the bowels of my existence, for a brief moment, only to spring back up again like a rustled up terrier. The phrase tends to settle me almost as much as it agitates me. This bipolar reaction mimics what I feel as I inescapably step from bustling street corners into abandoned alleyways and from glaring sunlight into humming fluorescent light. And just as my stopwatch goes off every minute, forcing my physical body to wake up and focus on its surroundings, my mantra wakes my mind and demands that I assess my philosophical position in this foreign space. I picked up parts of this phrase while I was working on Gary Winogrand’s archive at the Center for Creative Photography
at the University of Arizona. Parts of the phrase can be found in the book title The Man in the Crowd: The Uneasy Streets of Garry Winogrand
. In particular I remember an image from this book that shows three well-dressed ladies imperceptibly adjusting their path of motion as they walk past a desperate man in a wheelchair that is begging for money. The ladies walk on a pavement that is encrusted with granite stars while the setting sun behind them basks them in a warm glow. I have immersed my life in the study of photography, so I have so many of these kinds of images engrained in my psyche. And perhaps without coincidence, these are the kinds of images that find me over and over again in some metamorphosed form throughout my own visual journeys.