Armed with masks, gloves, an 8X10 large format camera and a healthy dose of fear, Photographer Alexei Hay and Master Printer David Frawley drove a bucket truck during the first few weeks of New York City’s Covid 19 lockdown to the city’s busiest intersections.
Rising several stories off the ground with the help of the truck’s hydraulic crane to photograph streets that usually embody the city’s hustle-and-bustle, Hay’s pictures instead display an eerie stillness.
The stories his photographs tell are now familiar: empty Manhattan streets are no longer unthinkable. However, at the time these pictures were taken in March & April 2020, the reality that Hay’s camera captured felt like the beginning of a dystopian nightmare with little tangible logic.
These photographs visually document the start of an evolving and ongoing historic era. Over a year into the pandemic, they evoke nostalgia and trauma, embodying the anxiety of a time of fear and uncertainty when the question on everybody’s lips was, what now?