Broken Glass

Photographs of the South Bronx

November 14, 2008 - March 8, 2009

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Moving images of an area in decay.

Made between 1982 and 1984, the photographs in Broken Glass: Photographs of the South Bronx by Ray Mortenson focus on the burned out, abandoned, and razed structures of entire city blocks in the South Bronx, documenting the aftermath of a widespread urban economic crisis that plagued the United States in the 1970s. Putting the political, economic, and social causes for this collapse aside, Mortenson's photographs consider the land and loss in human terms. They project a haunting silence, reminding us that these neighborhood streets were cradles of the community, lined with the homes of individuals and families. Hints of a once prosperous district are revealed in Mortenson's work through a stark black-and-white portrayal of what remained.

Ray Mortenson, "October 19, 1983, [Abandonded interior with painted bullseye]." Museum of the City of New York, 2011.1.14


Broken Glass: Photographs of the South Bronx by Ray Mortenson, is generously supported by the Marlene Nathan Meyerson Family Foundation.

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