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1 How did it occur? Was it this: One day, quite some time ago, I happened on a photograph of Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jerome, taken in 1852. And I realized then, with an amazement I have not been able to lessen since: “I am looking at eyes that looked at the Emperor.” —Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida Or was it this: If you could see what I’ve seen with your eyes . . . —Roy Batty, Blade Runner Or was it this: Pausing before an 18th-century church cemetery you look through the locked gate. There, on a small hill, is a life-sized statue of the Virgin Mary. Her gaze rests on an enormous red and white banner for an athletic club franchise across the street. 2 The idea occurred: Photograph the figurative statues that populate your city. Then bring the camera to their eyes (find a way) and shoot their points of view. What does such a figure see? To see the sigh of sighted stone you activate the idea. 3 You find a way, jerry-rig an apparatus made from a mop handle, a disposable camera with a timer, some velcro tape. Out in the field, you observe and take notes. You set the timer and pull the pin. 4 Erected in 1884 and located on the north side of Philadelphia’s City Hall, this statue of Major John Fulton Reynolds was the city’s first equestrian statue and first public monument in honor of a Civil War soldier. Reynolds was from Lancaster, killed at Gettysburg, and his nickname was “Old Common Sense.” possible new target approaching target one building designate new target target five pilot copies sensor 5 And here is what he’s looking at: Reynolds was very well respected, but his career had few successes . For instance, once after two long days of battle, he fell asleep under a tree and was taken prisoner for six weeks. Was that tree like this tree? Is Reynolds being forced to look at an emblem of what was perhaps his greatest embarrassment? You’d like to get back in the air. copies white pickup arrived in front of target building pilot copy two passengers including target five have 6 Next to Reynolds is another Civil War soldier, General George McClellan. McClellan was considered a good organizer, but not a particularly good general. He had a variety of nicknames, such as “The Young Napoleon,” “Mac the Unready,” and—because of his reluctance to attack—“The Little Corporal of Unsought Fields.” entered the building from the white pickup confirmed target in building copy sensor confirms if possible 7 He looks out and sees: You yourself are a patch-wearer; you are committed to your job. keep eyes on building and pickup building has the priority pilot mc, in order to do that I need tail 107 to 8 Most figurative sculptures are clustered along the river drive that is part of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Fairmount Park. From their pedestals they have lovely static views of the river and trees. They loom above you. You map out a rescue plan. come off its current target get permission for 107 to come south copy and censor leave the bridge locked 9 When you are out there with the camera apparatus, it takes passersby a minute to understand what you are doing. But when they do—the moment when they realize that these figures indeed have a gaze projected outward—they gasp and laugh. Immobile, you watch it all the way to impact. locked up until we get permission to come off that target roger wilco pilot mc cleared off target censor you can 10 For the most part, the sculptures seem to be looking at nothing in particular; they have a gaze, but they don’t have a need for it. You wonder about your experiment, whether it has any value at all. You wind up and throw it in the air. break lock on the bridge and lock up the target five with tail 107 roger we’ve got 60 degrees more of hitting 11 While proceeding, you become aware of your not noticing. You walk around these figures as if they are buildings or large pieces of furniture. You navigate their boundaries without a momentary meditation on who they are or why they’re there. With that public invisibility in mind, you become aware that a fair number of these statues populating your city are armed. copy pilot I’ve...


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