Matthew Pillsbury: City Stages

November 13, 2020

City Stages is a compilation of images from three large format (8×10) black and white projects completed by Matthew Pillsbury over the course of a decade: Screen Lives, Hours, and City Stages. In all three projects he explores the passage of time in modern life by setting long exposures that leave ghost-like traces of the human experience of being in various places and settings.

From homes to museums to busy city streets, the moments frozen in the blur of motion have the feeling of already being past. I am left with a feeling of silence and stillness as if I am exploring the place after the activity is ended, while the memory plays in my mind.

Each image brings up interesting ideas about what is ephemeral, what is permanent, and over what time periods.

City Stages was published by Aperture in 2013. Matthew Pillsbury’s web site takes you to Amazon to purchase, but you can also see some more of his images on his site. You can purchase a signed book through Aperture.

EDIT TO ADD (Nov. 28, 2020): I just came across a new book being released which I have not gotten my hands on, but the images are fascinating to see in comparison to City Stages. Frenetic City by Zhou Hanshun captures time lapse images in Hong Kong. It is interesting to see the difference in energy and feel of the places shown. You can buy the book and see images from the project on Zhou Hanshun’s website.