Michelle Zassenhaus, City Meets Sea
As a photographer, particularly a long-exposure photographer, I’m interested in the essence of a place – the signature – which emerges when the surface ephemera give way to the underlying structure.
In cities like New York and Chicago – cluttered with people, buildings and things – the horizon is obscured. The periphery reveals the horizon, and like a cross-cut section, the nature of the ground on which the city is built.
These images are portraits of the periphery. During exposures of [often] several minutes, what’s fleeting escapes the lens; what’s fundamental bores into the image. Much as a painter manipulates paint, I exploit the physical properties of film to tease out the subtle beauty of place.
Like portraits of people, these images are an exploration of the spaces’ essence, discrete vocabulary, mannerisms, structures, shapes, colors, climates and stories told by the elements left behind: failed piers, jetties, efforts to manage the transitions between land and water. They are also a celebration of the beautiful surprises found within the city limits at the water’s edge.