Jan Meissner

Down along the Island

June. Another summer in New York.  The island’s end, Manhattan’s tightly bounded grid of cobblestones and Belgian bricks that hold the late day heat, streetlights not yet on, the night still much too far away to cool the cast iron wall I lean against to watch them pass, stragglers going home, to benches at DeSalvio park, to bars to drink, heartbeats slowing down, not much to see and then, across the street, a girl, small Batgirl riding on her father’s back inside a mask, hot breath against his swelling neck, her bat gloves pressing at his throat. I see her eyes see me. At least I think I do. Imagine that I do. It’s hard to make out details through the lens. 

Younger than she would be now, the Batgirl lies inside this box, hidden, and with her lies a bending boy, the granite blocks that turned to bricks of gold when sunlight fell across their broken backs, this boy beneath a bridge saw something shine, a coin perhaps, a coin among the golden cracks and bent his body at the waist. 

I never asked. I simply waited, stood, and took. There are no names.There are no stories here. For stories you will have to make them up yourself. A woman with her hair blown back. A knife, a cross, an exit sign hold meaning—if you want them to—a hood that barely hides the butcher’s face, those backward words we cannot read are nothing more than backward words we cannot read. 

But is this true? A sidewalk can become an accidental stage, a one-block set made not by me but by the forward moving steps that bring these unsuspecting actors into view, the busboy looking back with one hand holding what appears to be a bloodied rag, the woman holding sparkling stones of unknown worth up to the light, a woman with a baby on her back, they each were pulled by accident of time into this accident of place where I remained, steadfast watcher with a camera in my hand, but stories, no, for stories you will have to find them here yourself.

Jan Meissner , June, 2013


Blue canvas box containing 6 loose plates
Limited Edition of 10

Size: 40 x 60 cm each
Medium: Inkjet print on Hahnemuhle paper

Signed and numbered on each sheet on the reverse
Published by Noire Edition, 2013


Additional Info:
Optional frame


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Jan Meissner
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