Metropolitan Roof‚ Although I have often avoided figures in my photographs, the occasional passerby wanders into the frame during a long exposure. Increasingly I have welcomed these ghostlike shadowy figures into my photographs. Are they surrogates for me, actors hurrying across a set, or lost friends and relatives coming to people my nocturnal cityscapes?

Metropolitan Roof‚ Although I have often avoided figures in my photographs, the occasional passerby wanders into the frame during a long exposure. Increasingly I have welcomed these ghostlike shadowy figures into my photographs. Are they surrogates for me, actors hurrying across a set, or lost friends and relatives coming to people my nocturnal cityscapes?

Thursday, October 22nd, 7pm
The School of Visual Arts Amphitheatre

209 E. 23rd Street (2nd and 3rd avenues), 3rd Floor
(please bring photo ID)

Book signing and sale to follow the lecture.
Free to CCNY members, SVA students, faculty, and staff
General admission $10, $5 for other students with ID

As a photographer, I work the night shift, the time of transition from daylight to night. During this liminal period, natural light gives way to streetlight, moonlight, window light, and advertisement and surveillance lighting. The workday crowds ebb, and the city‘s avenues, bridges, parks, and buildings begin to resemble a giant set, a theatrical approximation of a city. Paradoxically, it is only in these moments of dereliction that we can begin to populate the metropolis with our own thoughts and fantasies.

Lately, I have searched out places where the highways and bridges of the city‘s exoskeleton abut construction sites overgrown with weeds. Such places remind me of illustrations in anatomy books, cross–sections that reveal the body‘s structure. Locations in Long Island City and Hunter‘s Point, Queens, are rich in these juxtapositions. These areas, like others I have photographed in Manhattan‘s meat market and Brooklyn‘s DUMBO section, show a city in transition from an industrial to a post-industrial phase.

I work with traditional media: medium format cameras, and black & white or color negative film which I print in a traditional darkroom whenever possible. I use digital media for scouting places and for extremely large prints.

My subject is elusive: the locations that reveal the city‘s dis–location, seen at the brief moments each day when the light itself is shifting.

—Lynn Saville

Photographer Lynn Saville was educated at Duke University and Pratt Institute. Among her teachers was Philippe Halsman. Lynn Saville specializes in photographing both cities and rural settings at twilight and dawn, or as she describes it, “the boundary times between night and day.”