Nowhere In Manhattan is an ongoing project by New York City based artist Matthew Jensen. The intent of the work is to locate, explore, document, promote and protect the last parcels of nowhere remaining within the borough of Manhattan. For the scope of the project, "nowhere" is defined as a place that has been neglected and from this neglect has achieved the status of an organic non-place; a perfect combination of the built and natural. From these places one cannot say, "I am in a park" or "I am in the city" because neither appears to be true. Being in a location that lacks both identity and the presence of control offers a mental and visual release for New Yorkers, who may find it exhausting to live in the most identifiable city in the world.
The foundation of the project is the experience of walking and exploring. Jensen set out to explore every park and green space in Manhattan with a particular focus on parcels of land that are too awkward or precarious to be parks yet are often riddled with footpaths. The photographs are byproducts of this process and become promotions for the idea of nowhere. The simplicity of each image is complicated by the knowledge of its location.
The next phase of Nowhere In Manhattan is to turn billboards and construction sites into temporary virtual green and open space. Utilizing donated billboards, empty storefronts and construction sites, the landscapes will appear and disappear throughout the borough in some of the most congested neighborhoods.
Billboards Unveiled: Thompson Street and Sixth Avenue at Canal
LMCC Building 110: Governors Island, July 24 - August 29
NPR, WNYC, Interview by Beth Fertig, August 21, 2009Link: http://blogs.wnyc.org/culture/2009/08/21/a-walk-through-nowhere/
chashama gallery, Times Square, New York City, August 13-22, 2009
HuffingtonPost, by Rufus Lusk, August 11, 2009Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rufus-lusk/nowhere-in-manhattan_b_256412.html