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Reception for Brian Rose Kicks Off “Third Thursdays”

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Orchard Street, 1980 (4×5 film). © Brian Rose/Ed Fausty.

You probably know by now that tonight the LES BID is launching Third Thursdays. More than 30 galleries are staying open late and the New Museum is offering free admission. There’s also a reception at the LES Visitor Center, featuring the photography of Brian Rose. The exhibit is called, ““An exploration of time and space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.” Here’s what Rose has to say about his work:

In 1980, in collaboration with fellow Cooper Union graduate Ed Fausty, I photographed the historic neighborhood between 14th Street and the Brooklyn Bridge at its darkest, but most creative moment. While buildings crumbled and burned, artists and musicians came to explore and express the edgy quality of the place. Recently, I returned to the streets of lower Manhattan—working alone this time—to re-explore the neighborhood, nearly three decades later.

The 1980 images were made in the relatively early days of color art photography. After the project was completed and exhibited in 1981, it remained unseen in my archive. I went on to other projects, and lived for 12 years in Amsterdam.

After the events of September 11th, I was drawn back to New York as a subject for my camera. I began thinking about making a response to what had happened to the city, one that would take a longer view of the impact on New York and beyond. Eventually I came to the conclusion I should return to where I had begun–the Lower East Side–the place where so many Americans traced their roots. The old neighborhood tucked beneath the bridges lying at the feet of the pinnacles of power would serve as a barometer of change and continuity.

From the outset it was clear that this would not be a simple before/after take on the neighborhood. While keeping an eye on the earlier photographs done in 1980, I wanted to rediscover the place with fresh eyes, with the perspective of time, change, and history. The result (still being added to) is a set of photographs that looks backwards and forwards, that posits the idea that places are not simply “then and now,” but exist in a continuum of decay and rebirth.

The reception begins at 6pm at 54 Orchard (between Grand and Hester). The galleries will be open until 9pm. And then, of course, you gotta eat, right? Check out The Lo-Dine if you’re in need of inspiration. The Lo-Down is media sponsor of Third Thursdays.

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