Sunday, October 12, 2014
JACK SMITH’S LAST APARTMENT
BASRA ON FIRST AVENUE
“When the film is long since over the apartment will be lived in and used with its kitchen in the style of a ruined sambucca, beached in a papyrus swamp and perhaps someone will be gazing at the Bagdadian sink instead of a T.V. The apartment, the architecture entertains you, it soothes you. It helps you, it civilizes you, it is ‘BASRA’…” Jack Smith, excerpt from grant application, February 5, 1982.
I shot these photos of Jack’s apartment at 21 First Avenue shortly after he passed in 1989. I began in daylight but as the apartment was quite dark I returned later with a movie light and reshot some of the darker areas. Even then I realized the apartment would ultimately have to be surrendered to the landlord and felt it was important to document the incomparable environment Jack lived in and had created as a set for his never-lensed film project Sinbad in the Rented World.
October 29 through January 26, at Broadway Windows, B’way & E. 10St., N.Y. a project of 80WSE Gallery