F R O N T L I N E / about
Back in the early days of this crisis, with death numbers multiplying, my covered women in wooden boxes seemed to reflect issues from another lifetime. Masks and coverings now belong exclusively to the world of doctors, nurses and the clinicians that worked in the spaces between life and death.
To acknowledge and thank the sacred work of the frontline healthcare personnel, every day at 7pm, during their shift changes, thank you sessions were held citywide. In the first week of April I joined a session, first as a spectator, and was completely taken by the humility and sincerity of those men and women coming outside the hospital to greet us. These were the truly dignified, humbled and haloed warriors of the battleground. I returned the next day armed with my camera to record this touching moment.
In the following weeks all of us emerged masked and my covered subjects evoked for me immediate connection to the city’s new reality. For the next two months I met many local nurses, travel nurses, technicians and young doctors who, despite being exhausted, gladly cooperated with me. And they still do, in the merciful pause, between work and respite.
By the end of May the once abandoned streets of New York city have experienced additional trauma —- demonstrations, riots, and looting —- and the mood of the streets shifted from sadness and compassion to raw anger and violence. Throughout the entire city storefronts were boarded up in response to the breaking glass that shattered our nights. For the last few years, as part of my presentation of covered women, I have used raw plywood to emphasize the alienation of my subjects. In the past few weeks, as in a dream I am walking the streets among masked inhabitants in a world of plywood. I am now living in the world of my art; “The Space Within” has been reimagined. The mask is our new reality of the human condition. The social implications of this are yet to come.
M O R E T O C O M E …