The work of Peter Funch is, in the most captivating sense of the term, lost in time. It seems like the sort of work Andy Warhol might be doing now were he still alive. It’s twenty-first century yet 1970s. It’s metropolitan, cosmopolitan and simultaneously inhabits any number of art niches: social sculpture, time-based-art, and portraiture.
(Douglas Coupland, 2017)
Danish artist Peter Funch placed these confines on his 9-year project ‘42nd and Vanderbilt’. Narrowing the infinite opportunities NYC has to offer an artist, Funch brings to the surface the minutiae contained within a fragment of our daily routine, the short walk from Point A to Point B, reminding us that the practice of photography in general, and street photography specifically, has only scratched the surface of possibilities. Through categorical editing equally intuitive and scientific, human patterning and mannerisms normally glossed over, become meditations on time, mortality, public and private space, the economy, and our inner selves. Funch employs a method that novelist Douglas Coupland aptly describes in the book's afterword, accompanying the project, as "a kinder, gentler kind of surveillance."
In one example, what appears to be a diptych of a woman, images taken only seconds apart, slowly becomes a “Spot the Difference” puzzle: subtle variations in attire, hair, light and shadow emerge as we realize, in both wonder and consternation, that the images were in fact taken days, months, or perhaps even years apart. This simple and effective mechanism employed by Funch permeates the ordinary with the extraordinary. The fact that our own unknown tendencies, together with the rhythms and denizens of our surrounding ecosystem, can endure and replay over a path travelled thousands of times, becoming akin to performance, is nothing short of a revelation.