Work, Idling & Pod People
On view: January 16 – February 27, 2009
Featuring: Eric Percher and Peter Snyder
The Work series is a semi-autobiographical response to Eric Perchers’ seven-year experience in the financial offices and cubicles of Midtown, Manhattan. Percher penetrated the buildings of mid-town to examine the impact of organizational and architectural structures on those that labor inside. The series considers the limitations people accept in order to obtain success: the constraints erected by the desires and fears that drive workers’ initial ambitions; the stricture of further aspirations that becomes necessary to maintain the success workers achieve; and the restrictions inherent to a life in an office-cube, within a numbered building, on a gridded city. The series reveals moments of limitation, as demonstrated by subjects who are themselves the hard labor and emerging leaders of New York’s most profitable enterprises. The project does not intend to repudiate individual pursuits of success but to illuminate the tensions and sacrifices required to achieve such success. Consequently, the viewer is asked to consider the same question as the subject: is there sustenance in the viewers’ hard work and satisfaction in its completion, or is this simply an economic transaction, dollars in exchange for hours, security swapped for autonomy? Or as the subjects might put it, does the return justify the investment? In 2008, Percher was named one of the top thirteen emerging artists in the world of photography by American Photo magazine. Percher was included in the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward 2008 emerging photographer competition publication in 2008 and also received an honorable mention in the Singular Image category from CENTER, Santa Fe. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Percher lives and works New York City.
Peter Snyder photographs commuters as they are stuck in end-of-day traffic while they sit at red lights waiting to inch ahead. It is in these idle semi-private moments that this slow march of strangers comes to seem most human. Many relax enough to just sit and be for a little while. They stare, eat, read and even pick their noses. Their waiting is also a metaphor for how humans are forced to adapt to less than ideal circumstances that many times are out of their control. It is often how people chose to adapt that can make all the difference. In a second series, Snyder photographs people walking through the same intersection everyday while listening to their MP3 players in a neighborhood of New York City. These portraits stir curiosity about how they interact with their world while tuned in or perhaps tuned out. iPods and specifically iTunes have changed how society experiences music and in some ways everyone’s’ lives. Snyder poses the question: What does having an omnipresent personal soundtrack do to how people experience their lives and what are the inherent trade-offs? Peter Snyder is a trans-disciplinary artist who uses photography to focus on the study of how society experiences and adapts to the daily environment. His work has received praise from Photolucida’s Critical Mass and Review Santa Fe jurors. His work has appeared on prominent photography blogs including Amy Stein, Flak Photo and Jörg Colberg’s: Conscientious. Recently, Peter appeared on the CBS Early Show and was also featured in the New York Post for his year long interactive art project Listening Post. Snyder lives and works in New York City.