The choreography of New Yorkers’ daily saunter through the city’s avenues was the inspiring trigger for Veronika Marquez‘s series, N.Y. She focuses in on that confounding multitude, against a panoramic mirage, as though following someone in particular, establishing her relationship with others. Perhaps she is invisible or the center of attention, like a street musician, seen by all and yet not at all. There is an inherent dance that is perceptible only when one has the time to observe it, like a traveler seated leisurely in a café, aware of his infinitesimal presence in an engulfing cosmopolitanism. She does not expect to, nor does she need to resume her wandering path. She is a spectacle suitable for all lookers, this blending in, adopting the most incredible movements. Lone pedestrians reveal an abundant creativity. Marquez, as any one of her characters, engages no one, and yet encounters each and every one of the city’s inhabitants. She becomes them, follows their coordinates, and transfers onto her own figure the stop motion of their fleeting movements.
The series is set in iconic New York sites, like tourist keepsake postcards, and yet, it is entirely personal. Before production proper, Marquez undertakes the process of discovering settings, analyzing props, and deciding whether to turn Verónica, Camila or Veronika into protagonists within the scene and dynamic she must adopt. She goes to the sites with her photographic team, in the areas surrounding the Brooklyn Bridge, in Williamsburg, Chinatown, Central Park, in front of the Empire State, on the Manhattan Bridge, in Dumbo, High Line and South Seaport. She sets up her tripod, and emerges as a performer, to carry out a mise-en-scène celebrating New York’s inhabitants, amidst pedestrians who stop to applaud or photograph her performance. Through optical illusion, she appears omnipresent and becomes essential to the movement of those who come and go.
José Ramón Huidobro