• Crossroads (stills)

    Crossroads documents an intersection facing a rapid urban transition in East New York, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. This visual work revolves around sold dreams in an American landscape made of large scale housing. In a country built on promises, Crossroads uses a typical intersection between Flatlands and Pennsylvania Avenues to look at housing as one of the broken pledges. The area includes New York City’s biggest church (the Christian Cultural Center), a motel turned into a homeless shelter, a gas station among many car-related businesses, and the nation’s largest federally subsidized apartment complex. Starrett City is home to more than 15,000 people spread across forty-six buildings.

    Crossroads ties together past and future in a place of multiple identities, of realities that don’t look like they do in commercials, urban plans or the news. The work looks at loneliness, contemporary city dwellers, countless windows, homelessness, pride and everyday odysseys. Through photographs, a short film, archives and streets’ ephemera, this project looks at homes and some nation’s symbols in order to question the American dream and whether it is accessible to all Americans or not.

  • Crossroads (short film)

    Conoco is an East New York gas station located on Pennsylvania Avenue. It faces Starrett City (the nation’s largest subsidized apartment complex), NYC’s biggest Church (soon to build a massive residential complex unaffordable to almost four out of ten East New Yorkers) and a homeless men’s shelter.

    The store is run by brothers Ali and Syed, born in Pakistan. They came to the United States with their family in 1996. Their father started the shop in 1998 until Ali took over. The siblings work seven days a week, with eight-hour rotation shifts. They have been allowing attendant, Red, to live on site for years. He sleeps there most nights, helps out customers in the day, wanders in the neighborhood and attempts to save up to accomplish his dream of moving to Florida.

    The film’s storytelling explores a way of representing people living on the streets using the voices of those they live alongside daily. Syed and Ali talk about Red’s homelessness, the systemic issues behind it, as well as the friendship between these men.

    This work accompanies the still images part of Crossroads.

  • Fish Tank

    This ongoing work looks at various ways to wash and dry our clothing in Paris and New York laundromats, in outdated South of France stone wash-houses, in British middle class carpet floors homes, in Spanish sunny balconies.

    Using laundromats weekly when I was a student, I started observing their architecture, their structure, and came closer to their users. These photographs first examined how people occupy themselves while their clothes are being washed. Laundromats became theaters for stories to unfold.

    The work evolved into photographing laundry customs around the world. Fish Tank slowly reveals how much a simple public display of clothing can also say a lot about intimacy, identity and wealth.

  • Topographics

    “Our models have to be a complex, ongoing, spontaneous interaction of observation, understanding, imagination, and intention.”  (Stephen Shore)

    Topographics is an ongoing study of walking, of taking one step more, two steps less. These images made since 2015 across Europe and the United States stem from an intention to depict current urban landscapes’ heritage from a few decades back, confronting past ideals to modern eyes.

    The series gather photographs of vernacular architecture, seventies large scale housing, praised modern houses from the thirties, or out of use car culture buildings. Composed with an idea to seek for each place’s identity, Topographics uses a narrative mostly free of people to reveal our modern society through built spaces.

  • 57 Avenue Cyrnos

    My memories of my grandmother Aimée’s apartment are almost all repetitive. She had Alzheimer’s so her stories were the exact same from one week to another - same phrasing, same surprise, same ending. We would do the exact same thing every Wednesday, a secret show being repeated. And slowly, it made me appreciate the ritual we held inside these walls, the sacredness of her domestic space. She didn’t know her name sometimes. Sometimes I lost her and sometimes I could grasp her back. Each week the stories would get sharper; Aimée would strip down any unnecessary details. I thought she was a damn good editor.

    Just like the stories, her apartment rooms would sequence our performance. In the morning, we started in the bedroom where she would sit behind me during homework. Then the kitchen, where I would sit behind her while she cooked. And finally, the balcony, where we would sit next to each other. Never did we dare rehearse our show in a different order, the scenes were written this way. We had the piece near perfect but it got cut short.

    The next time I went back to her place was eight years later - my last chance to step inside a now empty apartment before it was sold. Being there without her felt foreign, wrong even. Death knocks when one leaves for another world and one has to remain. I remained; I sat there for a while that afternoon, and brought with me a large format camera to make four photographs: one in her kitchen, one in her bathroom, one in her bedroom and one in my bedroom. For that final one, I called my father and asked him to sit in my grandmother’s chair. A final goodbye to our Wednesdays.