Picture City II
Overlapping hundreds of film stills from an iconic narrative of urban alienation (Taxi Driver, 1976) and its more contemporary counterpoint, which unabashedly celebrates the city as a consumption machine (Sex and the City, 2008), Peter Scott’s double-projection presentation Picture City II continues his exploration into the ongoing rapport between popular media narratives and the physical alteration of the urban landscape. Through images that contrast a period of urban anxiety and social decay which locate the existential “otherness” of Travis Bickle’s 1970’s New York against the more self-assured (if self-consciously neurotic) Carrie Bradshaw’s New York of the mid-2000’s, a kind of double portrait of the city emerges. Becoming inseparable from one another in a looped twenty-minute sequence of paired film stills, scenes of Times Square’s seediness merge with Bryant Park’s Fashion Week glamour, brightly lit diners are “seen through” elegant bistros, and streetwalkers and pimps from New York in the 1970’s shadow Meat Market nightclub revelers of the last decade. Co-existing through streets, interiors, and portraits thirty years apart, the city and its (fictional) inhabitants are presented in a temporary stasis, affording a momentary examination of urbanism’s forward march.
Through focusing on dramatic re-creations of two eras of New York, the recessionary “Ford to City, Drop Dead” 1970’s, and the period of excess just before the 2008 crash, Picture City II reflects on the perpetual reshaping of the city and its economy while speculating on the nature of an urbanism which possesses an increasingly ambiguous relationship to time and place.
Peter Scott is an artist, writer, curator, and director of the non-profit gallery carriage trade. He has exhibited his artwork internationally at institutions such as Société, Brussels, Belgium; Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Paris, France; Galerie Sophie Scheidecker, Paris, France; and Kunst bunker, Nuremburg, Germany. His work has been exhibited in New York at Magenta Plains, Richard Taittinger Gallery, White Columns, The Brooklyn Museum, The Emily Harvey Foundation, Koenig & Clinton Gallery, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Martos Gallery, 3A Gallery, Momenta Art, among other venues, and is currently included in the exhibition UNTITLED (MONOCHROME), 1957-2017, Richard Taittinger Gallery, and White Covers at Frederic de Goldschmidt’s collection in Brussels. His writing on art and culture has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Art Monthly, artnet, and The Architect’s Newspaper, as well as several exhibition catalogs. His projects have been featured in Time Magazine, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Observer, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, Frieze, Hyperallergic, artnet magazine, among other publications.