Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WCP | Why Anacostia Residents Are Calling 311 Over This Art Installation

Go HERE to read the full article. What do you think? Art or eyesore? 

What would you like to see go into these vacant buildings?


A long-empty storefront in Anacostia is currently filled with wilted leaves, splintered wood, and musty car seats. For a blighted building in a neighborhood with many vacant properties, such a scene might not seem too unusual. But in this particular storefront near the busy intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, the debris flows to the ceiling and presses right against the bay windows, flaunting itself to pedestrians.

To some residents, the junk is an extra eyesore for an already ugly vacant building they want reopened.
To the D.C. government, it's art.

"They are supposed to be fixing Anacostia and they put this here?" asked Teresa Smart, a passer-by who said her family lives in the neighborhood. "I'm at a loss for words."

The piece, "The New Migration" by Abigail DeVille, is part of the 5x5 Project—the expansive citywide public arts project mounted by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. The biennial exhibit includes 25 pieces across all eight wards, and most will remain up through the end of December. "The New Migration" is spread across two vacant buildings and features the debris and heirlooms DeVille collected on a journey from D.C. to Jacksonville. (The second display, two doors up from the first on Good Hope Road, is a window filled with old tires and three skeletons.)

1 comment:

i heart newcomb said...

I detest the "but it's art!" argument. And not due to a lack of exposure or a lack of social capital as the artists vs locals dichotomy in the article might insinuate. I like modern art, but it's got to be in context!

Artists can make art out of anything and display it anywhere. It doesn't make that piece of art accessible, interesting, intellectually stimulating, or liked.

In this case, I feel like the online analogy would be trolling. People can write inappropriate things online to provoke a reaction. But this isn't the thought-provoking provocative that I hope art aspires to be. Instead it's superficial and doesn't result in dialogue about the issues at hand.

Yes, I know. Hanging up excrement at MoMA is art, just please don't do the same in my house or neighborhood.