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This Is Not a Fashion Photograph. Bill Hayes

Initially of his new e-book, How We Reside Now, the New York-based author and photographer Invoice Hayes makes a protracted checklist of issues he desires to recollect – atypical issues that now appear forbidden, if not unimaginable. “The final time I shook arms with a stranger. The final time I went to the health club. …went swimming. …took the subway. …took a aircraft. …went to a film. …kissed somebody. …slept with somebody. …shared a joint. …went to a restaurant. …shared an elevator with out worrying. …wasn’t scared. …was as scared as this.” For anybody who’s lived by way of this terrifying, clarifying interval, it’s a well-known checklist. As he did with Insomniac Metropolis, his earlier memoir with pictures, Hayes has a means of opening up the particularity of his expertise to incorporate us all. 

He started How We Reside Now, subtitled Scenes From the Pandemic and obtainable from Bloomsbury in August, when New York went into isolation in mid March. He capped it off with a postscript some 100 days later, when the town, getting ready to a really gradual reopening, was galvanized – and practically paralyzed – by demonstrations towards police violence. 

“A Kiss on the Farmer’s Market”, April 11, 2020, {photograph} by Invoice Hayes, from “How We Reside Now” (Bloomsbury).

© Invoice Hayes 

Whether or not he’s utilizing a laptop computer or a digital camera, Hayes is a eager observer, alert to the ache, resilience, and wit of New York and New Yorkers. His e-book is essentially anecdotal – half memoir, half journal – threaded with bulletins monitoring a budding romance and impressed by one thing his late companion, creator/neurologist Oliver Sacks, stated shortly earlier than he died in 2015: “Essentially the most we will do is write – intelligently, creatively, critically, evocatively – about what it’s like residing on the planet at the moment.” Hayes does simply that whereas preserving it vividly, touchingly private. He consists of his to-do lists and his train routine (earlier than noting that it was all however deserted) in addition to a sobering, daily tally of the variety of COVID-19 deaths within the U.S

What he calls, early on, “a disruption within the universe” is manifest in methods giant and small however principally at avenue stage, the place Hayes continues to {photograph} and contact base with neighborhood store keepers, a few of whom had shut calls with the virus. Though pictures of abandoned streets and empty subway automobiles are acquainted by now, his photos of individuals are the emotional coronary heart of the e-book. Pictures made earlier than the pandemic remind us how casually we as soon as frolicked and clung collectively. However tenderness stays. The couple right here, glimpsed at a neighborhood farmer’s market in April, their masks lowered for a kiss, are proof that, at the same time as the town turned inward, love by no means shut down.

Vince Aletti is a pictures critic and curator. He has been residing and dealing in New York since 1967. A contributor to “Aperture”, “Artforum”, “Apartamento” and “{Photograph}”, he co-wrote “Avedon Style 1944-2000”, revealed by Harry N. Abrams in 2009, and is the creator of  “Points: A Historical past of Pictures in Style Magazines”, revealed by Phaidon in 2019.

Vogue Italia, n. 839, July/August 2020

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