I search to photograph people and places that carry some memory of another event and lead me, like stepping stones, back and forth in time and space, between dreams and reality. I look for visceral connections, a chemistry of sorts, an essence or spark, the spirit of the thing.
Sylvia Plachy’s approach to photography has remained constant, even if her gear or technique has changed at times. She tries to make everything disappear, to forget who she is. For one, she does not like to talk when she takes pictures. “Of course, you have to with people,” she said. “Sometimes. But I usually prefer just to smell it and be there and understand it through instinct.”
After Desert Storm
In a dispatch for Creative Time Reports today, Sylvia Plachy recalls working in Kuwait in 1991, in the aftermath of the first Iraq War. She came to the country as a staff photographer for the Village Voice
"Sylvia Plachy seeks and finds her images wherever she goes. She captures fleeting moments in time with her roaming eye. She says the panoramic frame intensifies her perceptions. It allows her to get close to her subjects, to be inside their space, and to be surrounded by it — unorthodox, whimsical, and close"
“Negatives filed in drawers clamor for attention and light,” Sylvia Plachy wrote. “I seem to hear them. As in the streets of New York I look for what once was and still is and if it speaks to me.” With those words on March 9, 2005, Ms. Plachy inaugurated the Lens series in the Metro Section
In addition to Mary Ellen Mark, the project features new work by Sylvia Plachy as well as Dawoud Bey, Jeff Dunas, David Eustace, Eric Ogden and emerging talents Marla Rutherford, Anna Mia Davidson, Joe Fornabaio, Eric McNatt and Richard Renaldi.