NYC July 4, 1981 Photographs by Tom Arndt
June 6 August 5, 2012

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On the night of July 4, 1981, photographer Tom Arndt came upon what he referred to as a "wall of sound" as he entered New York City's Little Italy and Chinatown. He saw garbage cans doused in gasoline, set aflame, and exploding with fireworks as people ran through the rain-soaked streets. The series of photographs Arndt took capture the intensity of the night's celebration of Independence Day, while simultaneously emitting a strange disconnect from the specifics of time and place. The photographs have an uneasy resemblance to contemporary images of urban warfare and ask the viewer to reconcile the duality of celebrating freedom versus fighting for freedom.