Landmark exhibit at Shot Tower Gallery


>>THIS IS THE SHOT TOWER GALLERY. IT’S BEEN THE GALLERY FOR OVER 34 YEARS.
AND HERE ON THE FORT HAYES METROPOLITAN EDUCATION CENTER CAMPUS. THE BUILDING IS ACTUALLY FROM 1863. AND IT WAS BUILT THE LAST YEAR OF THE CIVIL
WAR. THIS WAS ACTUALLY A HUB OF ACTIVITY FOR SMALL ARM REPAIR. AND SO GUNS WERE REPAIRED HERE, THEY WERE BROUGHT BACK AFTER THE BATTLEFIELD. SO THE SPACE THAT WE’RE STANDING IN WAS, FOR QUITE SOME TIME, USED AS AN INDOOR DRILL HALL.
BUT THE SITE OF FORT HAYES, I THINK, IS JUST AS INTRIGUING AS FORT HAYES. IT WAS ON CLEVELAND AVENUE IT IS ON CLEVELAND AVENUE WHICH WAS KNOWN AS HARBOR ROAD. AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IT GOES TO THE HARBOR IN CLEVELAND. IT’S ROUTE 3. THIS WAS A MAJOR ROUTE ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD THROUGH COLUMBUS. YOU GOT OUT OF DOWNTOWN QUICKLY. AND YOU HEADED FOR WESTERVILLE OR WORTHINGTON, OR UP THROUGH CLINTONVILLE. SO TO THINK ABOUT AND TO PASS BY A MILITARY BASE, A UNION MILITARY ENCAMPMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN PRETTY SAFE. SO MY ROLE HAD BEEN TO HELP KIND OF INTERPRET SOME OF THESE STORIES.>>I HAD FIRST STARTED THINKING ABOUT AFRICAN- AMERICAN SOLDIERS, BECAUSE I DON’T THINK IT’S JUST LIKE COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND PEOPLE WHO WERE BEING HELD IN SLAVERY FIGHTING IN THE WAR. AND ONCE I THOUGHT ABOUT PUTTING IMAGES ON THE FLAG, IT JUST EVOLVED FROM THERE. AND WE GOT SOME POSTERS, AND I’M REALLY LIKE THE RECRUITMENT POSTERS, THEY WERE OFFERING FREEDOM AND PROTECTION FOR BLACK SOLDIERS. AND SO THAT’S KIND OF WHAT THE WHOLE PIECE IS ABOUT. [^LAUGHTER^] YEAH. AND MAYBE WE CAN START TO GET SOME IMAGES OF AMERICA– PURPLE MOUNTAINS MAJESTY, ALL OF THAT. THE PLAN WOULD BE TO PUT THE IMAGES OF THE AMERICAN DREAM ON HERE. I’VE GOT SOME SANDING AND SOME PAINTING TO DO. GOING TO HAVE THE WHITE PICKET FENCE. THREE KIDS AND A CAR IN THE GARAGE. [^LAUGHTER^] WHITE PICKET FENCE, CAN’T YOU SEE THAT? YEAH. OKAY, SO THEY’LL BE ALL ENCASED IN WIRE. YOU CAN’T GET TO IT. IT’S NOT FOR YOU. AND IN REALITY, I DON’T BELIEVE THE AMERICAN DREAM WAS EVER CREATED FOR AFRICAN- AMERICANS. BUT WE FOUGHT FOR THAT DREAM AS WELL. AND SO THAT’S WHAT I WANT THE PIECE TO REPRESENT. WE FOUGHT FOR THE DREAM, AND WE’RE STILL FIGHTING FOR THE DREAM.>>THERE ARE MANY PIECES THAT ARE MORE CONCEPTUAL. AND THEN THERE ARE MANY PIECES THAT ARE MORE LITERAL THAN OTHERS.>>MOST OF US THINK ABOUT LANDMARKS AS A PHYSICAL PLACE, MAN MADE OR NATURAL, THAT MARK SOME LOCATION. AND FOR THE OTHER WAY TO THINK OF IT — A LANDMARK IS WHAT WE ASSOCIATE WITH OFTEN WHEN WE’RE COMING OF AGE.>>I’M JUST GOING TO HAVE YOU STAND KIND OF IN FRONT OF THAT FLASH THERE. TODAY, I’M TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OF SCARS. I WAS LITERALLY ON MY LAPTOP, AND I HAD ALL THESE NOTES OUT IN FRONT OF ME. AND I HAVE A LOVELY SCAR ON MY KNEE FROM A RUSTY LICENSE PLATE WHEN I WAS A CHILD. IT’S VERY SOFT, AND I OFTEN TIMES WILL SIT THERE AND KIND OF JUST RUB IT. AND SO I WAS SITTING THERE AMONGST MY NOTES OF LANDMARKS AND IDEA BUBBLES AND THOUGHT BOOKS AND ALL THIS STUFF. AND I REALIZED, THAT’S MY LANDMARK. I’M DOING VERY TIGHT CROPS ON JUST THE SCARS.>>OKAY.>>THE IDEA IS THAT I’M BLOWING OUT THE BACKGROUND, AND SO THE SCAR ITSELF KIND OF BECOMES ITS OWN ABSTRACT ENTITY WITHIN THE IMAGE.E EVERY MARK LEFT ON A BODY, NO MATTER HOW INSIGNIFICANT OR LIFE CHANGING IT COULD BE, THERE’S A STORY BEHIND IT. AND NO ONE FORGETS HOW THEY GOT THEIR SCARS. YOU KNOW, I WANT PEOPLE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE MARKS LEFT ON THEIR BODIES.>>THE EXHIBIT HAS 89 WORKS. IT’S A VERY LARGE SHOW. AND THERE ARE OVER 50 WOMEN ARTISTS FROM CAW IN THE EXHIBIT. BUT MANY OF THESE ARTISTS TAKE THE IDEA OF PLACE INTO MANY DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. AND SOME DEAL WITH THE IDEA OF FORT HAYES AND THE REACTION TO PLACE. AND SOME DEAL WITH A VERY PERSONAL MESSAGE OF PLACE AND WHAT THAT MEANS TO THEM PERSONALLY.

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