Out of Context

In New York City, in any city, there are a lot of spaces in which to communicate a particular message. A billboard on the road to the Queensborough Bridge; a sticker posted on a ‘walk’ sign; a face in chalk, or a hundred faces, as is sometimes to be found in Union Square, for reasons I have yet to discover. What is interesting is when some of these images are removed from their locales, their meanings can alter. These, for example:

An Informative sign that lends the subway an air of existential dread.

Contra, this one cries out an affirmation -"Live, Disregard the previous sign!"

And if I told you what this was for, would you believe me? It's on a newspaper booth in East Midtown, and is one in a series of handwritten mysteries, all promoting the wonders of the New York Lottery.

I suppose my thoughtful point was to do with the choice and placement of phrases, identifiers of culture and class, and indeed the choice and placement of ‘foreign’ characters (by dint of national or chronological origin) in The Book of the Alter.  The English, homesick Aida as consciously foreign, the Lowery/Coronada family as unfamiliar territory to me etc., and something to do with how I worry about the validity and success (at this early stage) of my efforts.

Really, it’s an excuse to post some amusing pictures I took.

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Filed under New York, Theory

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