Walking through the Hoyt/Schermerhorn station this morning I noticed the following advertisement on the wall:
As a fan of AMC’s critically acclaimed show Mad Men, and someone who had seen the announcement regarding season five’s premiere date, I knew the reference. It did, however, seem a bit abstract, a bit too clever in self-selecting its audience. Then again, this is a tease. It also made me think about the resonance of such an image with a place like New York City, where images of people falling/jumping from skyscrapers is inextricably tied to the many horrors of September 11. Is it insensitive to mobilize such iconography ten years removed from 9/11 and artifacts like The Falling Man? It is difficult to say. Mad Men has relied on imagery of this sort for the entirety of its existence, as the opening credits depict an anonymous tumbling suit beset by advertisements and is meant to conjure well worn narratives of the tenuousness of 1950s conformity. As someone currently living in New York but with no historical connection to the city or its experience ten years ago, I will be curious to see if this minimalist advertisement provokes any attention.