Narrative has the ability to enfold disparate information into a succinct package. Depicting narrative within the space of a single frame is one of the most difficult things to achieve in documentary photography. As a result, narratives are most often parceled out across a series of images. Ten months ago I snapped the first and third pics a day apart on the same block. I had shot the middle one a week earlier, and just a couple blocks away.
The relationship between the images of a lawyer carrying what appears to be a map of some sort of drug pyramid and the back of a corrections department bus might imply the process of crime and punishment without much of a stretch. The third image I shot out of the same impulse shat causes me to shoot an inordinate amount of walls. To my surprise and delight, however, Denzel Washington’s character Frank Lucas emerges from that same garage door in the final scene of American Gangster in a shot not unlike the one above — a door, apparently, from which many convicts have been delivered back into the bosom of the city. And while I have neither the hubris nor the temerity to suggest that the above triptych depicts crime, punishment, and redemption in any essential manner, it is amusing to imagine the many narratives that connect the three places.
here’s the wall again.