The late photograph Frank Hallam carefully documented the west side piers in a collection of thousands of Kodachrome slides he took throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Working with selection of images focused on Pier 46, a popular cruising spot in the 1970s, Virgil B/G Taylor has chosen images that foreground this particular pier’s architecture, as well as its demolition after a major fire in 1980 – a process prefiguring the more recent redevelopment of the piers as spaces for recreation, as opposed to sex, in the late 90s and early 2000s. By focusing on the question of development, culpability for the loss of the piers moves towards the process of gentrification, and away from the fear of a virus, or contempt for unabated sexual activity. The exhibition will take the form of a new installation pairing Hallam’s images with a text written in response to this rich archive.
A small publication with images from Frank Hallam's archive alongside Hallam's writing and will accompany the gallery installation. The publication will also include a series of commissioned responses to Hallam's archive by Justin Allen, Marco DaSilva, Theodore (ted) Kerr, El Roy Red, Ashkan Sepahvand, Nicole Wallace, and Jonathan Weinberg.