7/23/15 - 8/14/15
HOWARD ST - New York, NY
Jack Greer

Alongside the trails in the Santa Monica mountains, gangs have continued their methods of territorial acquisition. Congregating in the heights above the dense city, they apply their proprietary forms of tagging - reserved for the initiated - to boulders and trees bordering the recreational hiking paths. They search for virgin surfaces, leaving their sprayed and carved traces directly upon the environment, unapologetically disrupting the natural rhythm of the landscape.

These emblems of former presence stand in relief against their surroundings, a blatant intrusion upon the wilderness compounded over time. Fresh marks relieve their weathered predecessors, forming a saturated archive of moments belonging to individuals. Through the accumulated signatures, a dialogue emerges between disparate groups of people temporarily vacated from the concrete sprawl.

Packs of Parisian skateboarders have made a habit of meeting at the edge of the Seine river at dusk. Through these routine assemblies, youths reclaim their terrain, if only fleetingly. Their coordinated descent upon the site transcends an otherwise public space trafficked by passersby and tourists into a backdrop for familiar greetings.

Linden trees line the bank of the river, their trunks scored with personal messages and inscriptions. Initials and mementos evoke hidden meanings. Together, the trees bear the anecdotal histories of others upon their skins, memories of a dispersed community incised gradually, with each inscription underscoring a shared impulse to generate something lasting in place of the transitory.

Greer’s work synthesizes context and communication, exploring the ways in which subcultures and social groups make broader anthropological statements about the human desire for cohesion. Personal histories mingle with the the collective, creating a network of shared bonds existing in physical space, holding significance for a select few, yet available in unison to all.