Exhibitions & News

Apart but Together
 

CIMA is delighted to share the work of one of our most active community members: photographer Jan Meissner. 
 

"Mid-March, when this virus closed doors and emptied sidewalks, like thousands of the world’s photographers, I made plans to get through what I believed would be no more than a brief and solitary lockdown in my New York City home.

Time stopped. Time passed. A planned exhibition of my work was canceled. Days dragged on, my roof at night became a place of hidden worlds to watch, became a place of small moments to record and keep, became a way to keep the story going. Here are a few of those moments. Life interrupted. But life continued."

 

Enjoy some of the photos taken during New York City's lockdown, viewed through the eyes and camera lens of Jan Meissner. Here you can view a montage of part of her pandemic project, live testimony of city life during shelter-in-place orders.

In April and early May, during the height of the Covid pandemic closure in NYC, Jan Meissner began photographing from her rooftop. Lisa Panzera, Director of the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, has followed Meissner’s work for several years. @janmeissnerphotos, a former writer, embraces a painterly approach to her photographs that she builds in the same way that she once “built short stories—bit by bit—one bit affecting another bit so that other changes must be made to accommodate the new whole.” Working from home, unable to go out into the streets to shoot, Jan poignantly describes her reality during the closure. “From my rooftop at night, London Terrace stretches east to west like a heavy brick fortress with small panes in small barred windows, darkly luminous half-curtained windows that hide themselves and those within so that I see only profiles, shapes and shadows.

Mostly, they seem to sit. It is the end of their day. Television screens glow. Lamps glow. I see feet stretched out on hassocks, hands raised, fragments of faraway distant half-worlds, a glass of wine beside a book. There must be sound, there must be music, voices, but all I hear is the click of my camera’s shutter.

That is London Terrace, but over to the east, the Empire State building spreads its nightly metaphor of color. Massive steel and glass worlds rise with wide-open glittering windows—whole worlds spread out with panoramas intact, brightly lit worlds that offer more than fragments, and, yet, they are still so far away, still so distant, and, still, so little moves within that time seems truly to have stopped.

Most nights the sky is clear, crystalline. I turn back to London Terrace, to that red brick fortress where nothing glitters, that heavy piece of almost ancient architecture, massive, stolid, that seems to anchor the monotonous presence of the cold steel structures that rise around it.

The shapes within have either disappeared or moved just slightly. Nothing has happened. Nothing seems to have happened. They wait. We wait. I wait.” #shirleyfitermanartcenter #tribecaart #inconversation

READ ON INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBdnnHslq_C/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

© Jan Meissner, 2020