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The Downtown series shows views of New York’s Occupy camp. During his stay in New York in 2011, Erik Schmidt experienced the start of the protest movement and had a direct view day after day of the occupation of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. This is reflected in the unmediated gaze he turns on sleeping demonstrators, the colourful sight of the tent cities and on police interventions – all the while consciously undermining an aesthetic of spectacle. As in earlier works, Erik Schmidt explores the norms and rituals of marginalised social groups, immersing himself in them yet never really becoming part of them. The colours deployed seem to a large extent to dissolve and fragment as a result of the open painterly brushwork.