I thought so! I love text forms, three-dimensional forms, and shadows. But right after I took this photo of a photography studio sign at Christown Spectrum Mall, a young woman security guard asked me to stop taking photos. I asked her if she were sure that no photography was allowed. She radioed her boss, and he said it was a mall policy: no photography without permission from mall management. She offered me the mall management phone number and I called it. They were closed for the weekend, but I left a message stating that I was just taking photos for my own artistic pleasure and that I believed it was my right to take photos in public places where there was no reasonable expectation of privacy, and besides, I wasn’t taking photos of people, just of the architecture. I left my number, so we’ll see what they say. Interestingly, this is the same mall in which one young woman asked me outside the brand-new Harkins Theatres if I were “newspaper.” I wonder why people are so finicky about photos being taken at this mall.
UPDATE: I just got a call back from the management office, and the manager explained to me that the mall was considered “private property / public access,” and that because it was private property, they had the right to set their own rules. He said he’s worked in malls since 1986, and it’s always been policy not to allow photography, and that it’s “gotten even worse since 2001.” He also mentioned that store owners don’t want their store fronts to be photographed since some people might be planning “acts of terrorism.”
I can understand store owners not wanting people to plan break-ins. But to me, the true “terrorism” since 9/11 is that ordinary citizens like me are suspected of terrorism, and that an artist is told that because of what happened on September 11, 2001, he cannot practice his art on September 23, 2007. Tell me, how long are people going to use 9/11/01 as a rationale for prohibiting innocent actions? Another five years? Another ten? Forever? When are things going to normalize? I can’t help but wonder how much more effectively we could fight terrorism if we stopped interfering with innocent citizens.