Thu, Jan 24, 2008 - Page 7 News List

Photojournalists, artists evicted from Brooklyn `kibbutz'

DANGEROUS Some of the tenants gathered at a nearby condominium, as others waited in the cold building to claim some of their prized possessions


David Alan Harvey is one of the world's most famous photographers, his shots appearing in National Geographic and many other prestigious publications.

For years, he has lived inside a building called the "kibbutz" in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, which is dotted with orthodox Hasidic Jews and hipsters.

On Sunday, Harvey, who is in India teaching a photography class, had his life upended as his most valuable belongings -- including irreplaceable negatives -- were boxed up and carted away.

"Now I have no home," Harvey wrote on his blog. "No place to go. I quite literally have no plan. ... Does anyone out there have an extra sofa for me to sleep?"

Harvey joins a group of renowned photojournalists and artists who suddenly find themselves without a place to live, work or both after authorities discovered a clandestine matzo bakery with silos of potentially dangerous grain and evacuated the building at 475 Kent St. on Sunday evening.

The list of talent with ties to the building is long: Robert Clark, a contributor to National Geographic who took a series of unforgettable shots of the second plane slamming into the World Trade Center from atop the Williamsburg building; Paolo Pellegrin and Alex Majoli, two noted war photographers and members of Magnum Photos.

Stanley Greene, who has repeatedly documented the devastation in Chechnya; Kadir van Lohuizen, who has trained his sharp eye on the conflicts that have ravaged Africa; Simon Lee, a visual artist; and Eve Sussman, Lee's wife, whose exhibit 89 Seconds at Alcazar was a favorite at the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

"There's a lot of talent in that building," Clark said.

On Tuesday, the situation was chaotic. Some of the tenants like Clark's wife had gathered at a nearby condominium, as others waited in the cold building as police let people in floor by floor to get their prized possessions. Outside, moving trucks lined the street.

While Harvey wasn't there, his assistants were able to rescue most of his belongings.

"We've got his most valuable ... prints out," said Marie Arago. However, she was still scrambling to get everything before authorities locked everyone out.

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