Exhibit — Eminent Domain: The City and Shifting views of Public and Private space @ NY Public Library 42nd Street

The New York Public Library exhibit “Eminent Domain: Contemporary Photography and the City – Shifting views of public and private space” ends Friday, August 29th. 42nd Street and 5th Avenue (near Bryant Park!). There is an exhibition and photography from five New York-based artists which take on the “theme of the modern city” and the “changing nature of space in New York City today.”  I’m hoping to see this before it closes.  At the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, in the D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall, 1st floor. Free.

From the NYPL description of the exhibit:

Last summer, public outcry forced New York City officials to reconsider regulations that might have required even the most casual of tourist-photographers to obtain a permit and $1 million in liability insurance to photograph or film in the streets of the city. A majority of the objectors felt that the proposed regulations threatened First Amendment rights to photograph in public places and amounted to a kind of privatization of public space. Similarly, people have questioned the current private/public arrangements that characterize much of modern urban redevelopment, from the proposed Columbia University expansion to Hudson Yards in Manhattan, and from Willets Point in Queens to the Atlantic Yards and Coney Island in Brooklyn.

Contention particularly surrounds the legal power of eminent domain, or the taking of private property for public use: at the core of the debate is the definition of “public use” and concern that the word “public” has become a euphemism to disguise what are essentially private investments.

[the] photography poses questions that resonate with current debates about the reorganized urban landscape and the consequent shifting of public and private space, whether through gentrification, globalization, or the suburbanization of the city.