These photographs were taken of an event, as a non-participant, held annually in New York City on Sunday, January 10th, 2016 by an organization entitled: Improv Everywhere which is a New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. It was created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd. The event is held in the coldest month of the year because people are dressed as warmly as possible. I decided to follow the event from the initial meeting place in Foley Square, located in lower Manhattan. Here, the participants are organized in separate groups for each of the New York City Subway lines. The prank begins as several members board a subway train and disrobe in front of the subway passengers, which causes a range of reactions from shock to bemusement. Next, they leave the car, and another group disrobes on the next arriving train. The removing of pants continues until all participants have done so on different trains. After approximately two hours, all participants regroup at the 14th Street Union Square subway station where they spend time discussing their experiences. There is an after party but I chose not to attend because I was not a participant. This event is one of the most interesting spectacles that one can witness in New York City and these documentary photographs seek to have captured their performances.
April 2, 2016