As a Yin to the Yang of Peace, there are emotions that reside distinctly in the opposite polarity, those that exist in the realm of fear, the unknown, the murky or threatening.
In the summer 1988, I was commissioned to photograph a large-scale historic preservation project: The Frankford Arsenal, which is situated a stone’s throw north of Philadelphia. For this effort 1,500 sheets of 4x5 film were exposed to properly document exterior and interior views of 116 buildings on the thirty-two acre historic complex. As a long abandoned depository of destructive weapons, the place had a particularly desolate quality.
It is perhaps here, during that three month project that I first became aware of these dark opposing forces, photographically. On a surprising number of instances, after viewing the ground glass, or eagerly pulling apart a Type 52 Polaroid to gauge the success of my intent, I would be somewhat halted by an especially grim, portent description: Like a dark whisper from behind.
Once the Arsenal project was completed, it was with some trepidation, that I decided to continue this investigation; to try, to the best of my ability, to document more of these strange, menacing, melancholic moments, as they uncomfortably manifested themselves, hauntingly, in and around the streets of Philadelphia, and beyond.