photography by annie appel
film-based work *
I'd always known that one day, after enough time had gone by, I would return to the park.
This time, before I'd even mounted my camera to the tripod, two security guards insisted on
seeing my permit to photograph on public property.
"Lady, if you don't leave right now we will be forced to call the police."
To their surprise, I welcomed the idea.
One guard stayed and watched from a distance while I continued to set up my gear. Before long,
the other guard returned with two Los Angeles police officers. After looking at the set of photos
I'd created 23 years earlier at the same park, with the same background and the same camera,
they wished me well, although they declined to stand for a portrait.
In a day filled with unexpected interaction, meeting Paul was a moment to cherish.
"I remember when you were here last time," he said.
Convinced I'd confused him with my explanation of the work, I replied. "I don't photograph here
on a regular basis - just this one time." I pointed to the original, small book of portraits I'd brought
from 1987. He turned the pages, stopping to point at one of the portraits.
"Warren is living with his daughter now. She came and got him." He flipped a few more pages.
"Anthony is married now and has three kids. He is a waiter a few blocks from here. Dennis and
Fas just got out of jail again, " he added, pointing at another picture. "Those two are really
something." and he smiled a little.