Last Friday at noon, I started a 24 Hour photo-project where I attempted to take a portrait of the city I live over 24 hours. It was one of my most ambitious projects – staying up and on my feet for 24 hours, most of it spent alone with my camera.
Parts of my experience seem like a dream. I saw things. Weird things. Uplifting things. Sexy things. I saw a man dressed as a carrot, a kiosk on fire, burlesque girls, a bride, a drag queen and the pink sky slowly blooming on the horizon. I spoke to tourists, to drunks, to a club owner and a tour bus.
At dawn, I stood at the edge of the Ben Franklin Bridge looking at a giant sculpture depicting a lightning strike. I knelt before it to get the entire thing in the photo, the sun coming up, all orange and gold and pink. I was shaking from exhaustion, and my feet were beginning to burn. There I was, kneeling before lighting, before the dawn, before a bridge, at the edge of the water, the edge of night and the day, and I felt simultaneously that I was part of an epic, and also, that I was very small.
I did this project to push myself to the edge, to push my body and my will, to learn about who I am as an artist and to reach into the rhythm of the place where I live and to hear it’s heartbeat. I did it to become better, knowing that I can only get better by learning my limits and going to meet them, there, on the edge.
On the opposite side of the photo above, I am kneeling before the dawn. There is no photo me of that moment, but I can take you with me to that moment, and we can kneel before the dawn together.