Photos are Maasik’s pictorial structure, construction, which makes Russian constructivist classic, Alexander Rodtschenko, a possible model for the artist. But paradoxically that which Maasik deliberately composes is still chaos. There is no sense to search for regularity and harmony in Maasik’s photos. And in this case, the subject, which is New York’s architecture, or rather architectural environment, also promotes this.
Maasik is not interested in buildings in an architectural or functional sense — we are not dealing with architectural riches nor some type of building typology. Here, Maasik remains a structuralist in the sense that he is attracted by the structural chaos of the micro-schemes of New York’s cityscape, its architectural and spatial eccentricities, and the expressionless and anonymous routine of high-rise buildings. /—/
/—/ In Maasik’s photos, New York is revealed more as a state of mind than a city. Here, a building is not just a thing or object, but a concept of an object. According to Wittgenstein: a circumstance is the relation between things. And so, Maasik’s pictures change architecture into “architexture”, a certain kind of “archi-écriture”. Joseph Brodsky’s thought that viewing can be transformed into reading comes to mind. Each Maasik photo is like a sentence. Wittgenstein: “A sentence is a description of some circumstance.”
What could Maasik’s photos be saying? To me, that New York is not so much real as symbolic. Architecture can be seen as an art, especially if we proceed from Ernst Cassirer’s definition, according to which art is not the imitation of reality, but its discovery.
In order to narrate, one need not use words: Maasik’s photos are splendid confirmation of this. NYC Shots is an example of simple exhibition. Maasik doesn’t need to show us just a city, but primarily a person’s opportunities, for which one need not photograph (only) people.