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Parsons School of Design MFA Photography program theses2011 (PC020403.07) ➔ Automonuments


Related people/organizations

Parsons School of Design. Photography Department. (sponsoring body)
Niv Rozenberg (photographer)


August 2011


My interest in urbanism started when I moved to New York City from Israel a few years ago. I was immediately fascinated by the city’s structure, the essential large-scale and unavoidable congestion. The population density, person per square mile, in Manhattan is quite different to the one back home. This massive metropolis revealed to me as appealing and attractive on one hand, but also disorienting, overwhelming and claustrophobic on the other. The architectural cityscape of concrete, steel and glass made me feel insignificant but also powerful; powerful because of the illusion of endless possibilities represented by the scale and pace of the city, yet insignificant for the same reasons, appearing as a face in the crowd but having little impact on the city as a whole. As Aldo Rossi writes in The Architecture of the City: “…the large American cities exalt the urban whole of stone and cement, brick and glass, from which they are constructed. Perhaps no urban construct in the world equals that of a city like New York. New York is a city of monuments such as I did not believe could exist.” I was drawn to these monuments and desired to uncover the moments of conflict, when the city becomes ordered and aligned, following a grid of human order yet remaining inhuman. As the French author Georges Perec once wrote: “There’s nothing inhuman in a town, unless it’s our own humanity.”



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