Newark Will See it Through

“Newark Will See it Through” is a series of photographs from a larger ongoing body of work Newark Municipal Archive, which itself is derived from the Archives & Records Management Center, City of Newark, NJ.

Wandering through the Archive’s manila folders, I discover many photographs with tracing paper hinged to them, and with hand-drawn pencil-lined crop marks, coded instructions/notes, or sometimes acetate film with red shapes (a pre-digital technique used to select/mask areas for offset printing). These gestures were created by an editor and used for reproducing images in a variety of governmental agency publications.

My focus in photographing these artifacts is that they were not originally intended to be seen in this manner. The meticulously-created lines and layers shed light on the known details about the original use and framing of the images; such information is often invisible given the digital tools available to photo editors today. These hand-made and hand-drawn markers point (albeit unintentionally) to the well-intended rhetorical messages and propaganda that sought to present Newark in the way that city officials most wanted it to be seen. This series of images were selected for their sense of authority, power and vulnerability.