A Tired City

Photos of people sleeping in NYC trains between 3-7pm, on weekdays only. Sleepers are asked to sign a contract stating that any money made from their portraits are split 3-way between artist, gallerist, and them. Most happily agree. It's as if I'm giving them a job while they're sleeping.

 

Portraits are postered around the neighborhoods at the ends of subway lines. By isolating this practice from the context that normalizes it, these acts ask the viewer to bear witness. But what are we witnessing?

 

The train is a site of commute between periphery and center, mostly for labor and wage earning. A person is at their most vulnerable when they are asleep. Vulnerability implies a lack protection; a sacrifice thereof. But who is tired? And why?

 

In a way, this sacrifice bestows upon the subjects of these images a level of martydom. The project culminates as a public exhibition where the public can purchase photographs from anywhere between $20.00 for 4"x6" portraits, to limited edition large prints for thousand's of dollars. The public's emotional and ideological investment with these icons/martyrs is transformed into capital investment to offset the sacrifice of those sleeping bodies.

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