Text: Alec Coiro
All Images Courtesy of Cleopatra’s
Transmitter Park is almost as fine a metonym for Greenpoint as it is a parallel with the gallery Cleopatra’s (also in Greenpoint): rough and wild, connected but apart, a little hard to get to, but worth it; the kind of place a teenager can really feel at home with a fat blunt. While that last one might not be as true of Cleopatra’s as it is of Transmitter Park, Cleopatra’s is where Matthew Spiegelman’s photos from Transmitter Park are being exhibited in a show entitled Transmitter, running until March 26th.
Intending to do away with or at least problematize the artist/subject dichotomy, Spiegelman positions himself and by extension the viewer as a participant, eavesdropper, and sunset stroller at the park.
Looking out across the East River, we see the majestic and iconic Gotham skyline. Spiegelman cleverly juxtaposes this cityscape with the rough, rocky landscape of Transmitter Park where it comes in contact with the water, and, to my eye, the photographer also suggests a parallel between the crags of the rocks and the crags of skyline. Transmitter Park’s undeveloped rawness is put in high relief, a rebuke to the gentrification going on all around the park. A rebuke that is underscored by the people in the photographs who display none of the trapping of gentrification.
The show is stolen, however, by those old photographic classic:, light and water, and the play of the former on the latter. Spiegelman beautifully captures the park at dusk. Swing by the gallery and enjoy the gloaming.