Castro Street

18th Near Castro Street x 24

Over a period of 24 hours, Fischer photographed a popular bus stop bench on 18th Street, just 75 feet from the corner of 18th and Castro streets.  This series pairs the 24 photographs, each taken from precisely the same point of view (Fischer drew outlined footprints on the sidewalk) and on the hour, with a paragraph of text.  The photo-text juxtapositions function as both observation and commentary, charting the ebb and flow of a wide range of visitors to the bench, as well as the photographer’s personal interactions during the 24 hours he spent on the street.  Fischer’s conceptual approach reveals an array of forms and influences, from performance art and first-person journalism to the sequential investigations of Hilla and Bernd Becher. By incorporating his own experiences as a young, recently liberated gay man in San Francisco, Fischer offers up a singular insight into the sense of freedom that informed the era. 18th Near Castro Street x 24 was released in book form by NFS Press in 1979.  The last showing of the work was in the exhibition Photographs and Words, presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1981. The complete series will be re-released in early 2019.