Bored through, broken up, built into and onto and from, Manhattan’s schist is thought to account for the shape of the city’s modern skyline. The absence of tall buildings in the area of Midtown, is said to correlate to the absence of this supporting bedrock schist, where, dipping far beneath the surface, it becomes too deep to anchor a lofty skyscraper atop.
Forever engaged in the ongoing (if imperceptible) cycle of geological creation and destruction, these here rocks are a challenge to our conception of time and to our sense of significance. They attest to our fragility.
Since the neolithic, rocks have long served as totems or symbols in the practise and expression of spiritual reverence. Today, for the less fortunate; the homeless, the mad, the undocumented, the rocks of Manhattan serve some of the same pragmatic functions that rocks have also served since that age of stone. Hearth stones for a fire, shelter for the night.
These photographs survey vestiges of the natural world that are to be found on the island of Manhattan - at a time when (as Berger would tell us) the traditions that mediate people and nature are long broken. Yet, as a schizophrenic man on 8th Ave declared loudly in my startled ear, “No one gets between me and nature man, no one! You just try it!” And of course I wouldn’t wish too.