Pauline Vermare: Your Dirty Windows series (1995) is currently on view at the ICP Museum. Would you tell us more about the story behind the photographs?
Merry Alpern: The project began one night, in 1993, when a friend led me to a back room in his loft in New York City’s Wall Street district. From his window, one flight down, maybe fifteen feet away, I saw a bathroom window and felt the vibrations of a pulsing bass track. Suddenly, a body in a sparkling harness appeared, then disappeared. It turned out that a private lap-dance club had newly opened and been secreted away in the building.
I was transfixed and spent the next six months sitting in the dark, dressed in black, camera on tripod, watching the goings-on of perfect strangers.