While looking at images of Manhatten and some of the abandoned places that exist there I came across the photographer Miru and this heart-stopping image of her looking out from the top of one of the suspension pylons on the Williamsburg bridge. Just getting there would have been a challenge and one that carries a not inconsiderable risk of arrest, injury or death but to then set up a nude self portrait once she was takes is going above and beyond for your art.
As it turned out this photo was only one in an ongoing series of self-portraits taken in places that few people ever get to see including abandoned factories, tunnels and industrial areas all over the world. Her descriptions of the shoots and the interviews with her about the project betray a talent for understatement when she talks about the risks and the difficulties in doing the series but the results are spectacular. Her presence in the photos just amplifies that human vulnerability and, practically speaking, gives these amazing places a bit of context and scale.
AS mentioned in this interview with the Huffington Post;
In the process of getting a good nude shot, she’s found a dead body, run in to a schizophrenic homeless man, ran way from security guards in subway tunnels and dodged a helicopter while standing nude on the Manhattan Bridge in New York.
I mean, who hasn’t done those things really? But the rest of us do them with shoes at the very least.
The Willimasburg bridge shot was what first caught my attention but my favourite I think is the shot below of Miru perched one one of the coolant elements at the abandoned Richmond power station in Philly.
Her personal portfolio is mirukim.com.
You can also find a talk she did on her work in the TED archives.