Fashion Fragile Dwelling

ISBN 13: 9780893819156

Fragile Dwelling

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9780893819156: Fragile Dwelling

This is the third volume of photographs and text by Margaret Morton documenting the lives and living spaces of New York City's homeless population.

Over a ten-year period, Margaret Morton documented the inventive ways in which homeless people in New York City have created not only places to live but also communities that offer a sense of pride, place, and individuality.

Morton's camera reveals the ingenuity of builders who have constructed homes out of discarded materials such as warehouse pallets, junked auto parts, and demolition scrap. Her luminous photographs bring to light the determination and aesthetic sensibilities of all but forgotten people whose temporary encampments became permanent homes until they were demolished by the city. Seen together with compelling oral histories by the builders, Fragile Dwelling tells the universal story of a need for personal space and the resilience of the human spirit.

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About the Author:

Margaret Morton, whose previous books include The Tunnel and Transitory Gardens, is Professor of Art at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City.

Alan Trachtenberg, Neil Grey Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University, is the author of, among other books, Reading American Photographs: Image as History and From Mathew Brady to Walker Evans (Hill & Wang). He writes and lectures often on American literature, photography, and cultural history.

From Publishers Weekly:

Using discarded scraps of wood, metal, plastic and any other available materials, formerly homeless New York men and women built improvised housing in the early '90s with care and a need for order, privacy and community. Morton (The Tunnel), a professor of art at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, befriended some of them and documented their structures. The result is this haunting collection of 90 stark, sharply reproduced b&w photos, with captions by Morton, an introduction by housing critic and scholar Alan Trachtenberg, and commentary from the builders themselves. "If I don't do something here, my mind will die," says Hector A. of his Bushville cabin in the East Village. The homes at Bushville, "The Hill" and other areas, often under bridges or on abandoned piers, are shown with the wreaths and religious icons that often mark their entryways, and the pots, cookstoves, couches, beds and furniture drawn from a city full of discards. Since New York systematically bulldozed all of the camps shown (the last was demolished in 1996), Morton's book is an important testament to the will and ingenuity of their inhabitants. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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