End. Words from the Margin, New York City (Notes For A Book), 2016...2018
Between the spring of 2016 and the fall of 2017, I traced all the edges of New York City. Sometimes I would leave home on foot. Other times, taking the subway, I would reach the end of the line in the company of my bicycle. I always had a backpack with my cameras, a notebook and a pen, a flask of water, a handful of black-and-white HP5 400 film rolls, a map and an apple.
I traveled all the way along the borders of the five boroughs which, in all their diversity, together make up the complex image of New York. I walked along and photographed the perimeter of the city because I wanted to see, without the use of photography books or Google Maps, the most hidden sides of town: those green areas often surrounded by metal fencing where it is still possible to come across a silent corner in which to understand better, and more profoundly, the sense of distance from home.
The fencing surrounding the perimeter of the city often prevented my body and my gaze from going any further, and so I remained on the other side, trying to avoid the eye of security cameras and those signs inviting me to ‘keep out’. Whenever I came across a passageway through those nets, accompanied by a sensation of unease, I would squeeze my way through and venture beyond.
I would often come to the end of a street only to find myself faced with a yellow sign saying ‘End’. The end of that street marked the border between the concrete of the city and the areas of wild greenery, of polluted channels and lagoons or the shores of the ocean.
Most of the time I took my photographs in a state of almost unreal peace and silence, in those places where the density of the concrete suddenly gives way to a grassy area, where nature once again finds space in which to unfold, the water and the beaches on which to deposit its debris, and the ear encounters the perfect dimension in which to listen to the sounds of the city, so close yet so far away at the same time.