Current event happening now from May 18th friday opening to May30th
guest curator John Roucco
please contact us to make an appointment to view this work. 212 3691518
Please join us for the opening night of our first Harlem Properties sponsored exhibition! Anders Cato is a Swedish born New Yorker with a keen eye for what is often left unseen in our amazing city. Please read the artist statement below -- we look forward to sharing this unique photography with you!
An exhibit combining words and images to explore a city, which we live in, but have never been to.
- You don’t like to photograph people?
- Oh, I do. Very much.
- But most of your photographs have no people in them…
- No, they do. Actually, there are people in all my photographs.
- There are?
- Yes. You just can’t see them.
I mostly take pictures at night. If I can see everything in the picture, I’m not so interested in looking at it. Even if I see something beautiful, or unusual, if it’s clear and I know what it is, I don’t need to take a picture of it. What I try to capture is usually hiding, and harder to see during the day. It doesn’t have a clear shape and often appears in spaces that seem empty at first. Sometimes it’s a movement in a dark apartment or a basement. Sometimes just a shadow in an abandoned store or restaurant, the broken dreams that have been left behind, occasionally with a light still shining from a room in the back.
These shadows and movements are like traces of another city; a city I have never been to that seems to be hiding inside the city where I live. They are probably there during the day, but in daylight, they are much harder to spot. I could walk right by them and not even notice them. During the day it’s so easy to disappear.
These traces are always on that border between what’s real and what’s imagined, what I see and what I think I see. It keeps shifting and turning, this gray area, this little blurry patch, where the movements blend together, like layers of smoke. Sometimes when I think I have captured them, I look at the picture later and they are not there. If the focus is clear and there’s enough light, then there’s no point looking for them. You can’t find these barely visible shapes and shadows in the midst of such clarity.
I don’t pretend to know much about them, these traces. I’m not sure what they are exactly, or where they come from. They seem to be part of something bigger, like fragments of human life, or of the past perhaps, of all the people who have lived in the city before us. I try to get closer to them by capturing them in my photographs. It’s mostly for myself, I guess, because I find them beautiful and mysterious, like secrets that I have forgotten. Often it’s enough to just notice them; just to know that these traces are there makes me feel calmer. I can’t explain it, but when I see them, I know that they can also see me, and I don’t feel so lost.
I have placed chairs in front of the photographs so that you can sit down for a moment. There are also little books with stories in them. The stories are not explanations of what you see in the photographs. But still, I think reading them will help you see the photographs differently. And maybe looking at the photographs will make you read the stories differently