Greenpoint in Brooklyn, NY is both an industrial haven and a residential neighborhood primarily made up of Polish immigrants that have grown in tandem over the last century. On a day I was photographing on residential streets, I turned the corner onto this dense block of row-houses, each one displaying an identical and prominent American flag - some with yellow ribbons tied around the trunks of the trees - and I was struck by how well this scene described the betrayal of the American dream. These were people who had come here to start anew. They put down roots, created a community, embraced this country and expressed their patriotism loudly. And in return they’ve been poisoned by their industrial neighbors, and not protected from the known hazards that permeate the water, air, and soil of their homes. But the flags are still flying.
To learn more about this work, and the oil spill that occurred in the area please visit Jessica M. Kaufman's
About the photographic process
A positive/negative film (Polaroid Type 55) is used: a film with an actual negative in it. The chemical is not cleared from the negative, but left to dry, where it patterns, develops crystals, and eats away at the original image - basically decaying, and then printed in that state. This process removes the viewer's ability to immediately place the image in time: it is disorienting and announces that the work is subjective, conceptual and certainly not documentary.