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See Nothing, Do Nothing – PRINT Journal

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New York is again. That motto breathes life into these whose each day lives have lengthy been on maintain. Because the pandemic emptied the streets, New Yorkers went from being merely nameless to vacant souls. For some, being a mass is preferable to emptiness.

Charles H. Traub’s new guide Vacant is a sequence of images “taken in delirious months of those previous a number of years, which closed us all off to the pure order of our lives,” Traub says. “Just like the areas herein depicted that after bustled with commerce, we’re nonetheless lethargic. We’re suspended in a seeming unreality that’s, however, the simple situation of our occasions.”

The pictures had been all made with a cellphone as Traub, the chair of Images and Associated Media at Faculty of Visible Arts, wandered all through the streets of New York, peering into home windows of vacant retailers and empty public areas. They converse to the ability of emptiness to render solemnity and sweetness. “First the individuals disappear, changed by noise, sirens, then by nothing, not even silence, only a repetitive hum,” writes critic Lyle Rexer within the epilogue to Vacant.

It was that eerie, ever-present hum that gave me hope. I mourned the comatose metropolis, however the hum was life help. I knew these vacant streets, shops, parks and places of work would regain consciousness and New York could be New York once more. For a couple of unsure months I even savored these frozen moments that Traub so vividly captures in Vacant, a curiously comforting remembrance of New York emptied of all its hustle and bustle—and the soulful quietude that adopted.

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