Clearance Volume I-IV
Collection of four handmade 28-page zines
BW laser print interior
Hand printed CMYK Covers
1st edition disseminated to local artists and community leaders
2nd Edition of 100 available on request
This photo essay is an ongoing investigation of the business quarter of East Liberty and the surrounding neighborhoods making up Pittsburgh’s East End, an area that has gone through several dramatic cultural and economic shifts throughout its 200-year history. My objective is to offer an alternative narrative to the story of East Liberty's recently acclaimed economic and cultural upheaval. My intention is that these photographs serve as a historical document, perpetuating an ongoing conversation in our community regarding social and economic issues impacting the area, namely inequitable urban planning, gentrification, classism, institutional racism, geographic segregation, consumerism, and corporate capitalism. My hope is that these images will provide evidence of these ailments, and will help to prompt more conscious and inclusive urban redevelopment moving forward. From an aesthetic standpoint, I employ several presentation and compositional formats. Namely, these include formal before-and after diptychs, image pairing, historical tableau-inspired scenes, documentation of inanimate objects, and serial imagery. In doing so, the reveal includes stark contrast between pre and post development, depictions of community members in relationship to the built environment, visual metaphors, and imagined narratives.
Having the time, money, and support to work on this project is a testament to my own advantages and privileges. I cannot speak for communities of color or appropriate their voices. After 26 years of living in the East End, and 5 years bearing witness to it's rapidly shifting landscape through my camera lens, I’m left with these photographs and a lot of new neighbors— among them are Google’s local headquarters, a Target superstore, four hotels, several luxury condominiums, tech startups, furniture stores, coffee shops, gyms, deluxe bars and restaurants, and empty build to suit storefronts. Some affordable housing remains, and some new affordable housing has been built. Others have been reduced to rubble, most recently to make room for an imminent Whole Foods expansion. I’m realizing I’ve also been left with a lot of questions.