Just back from exploring the abandoned AMC headquarters building in Detroit with my buddy Lowell Boileau. It’s where they designed AMC and Jeep cars and SUVs. More photos in the gallery here.
For the first time I showed more than one of my walk-in panoramas under the title, “American Trilogy.” It was curated by Larry Walczak. The show was held on the 22nd floor of #4 Times Square during Armory Art Week.
“American Trilogy: Ferguson” places viewers on the spot where Michael Brown was killed by police. I remembered the rioters, tear gas, military assault vehicles and rooftop snipers from the nightly news, but when I was there it was a quiet neighborhood, and on the line where he fell was a makeshift memorial of hundreds of stuffed animals, flowers and notes. The panorama was part of a Black Lives Matter event in Times Square in 2015 as well as installed in a Brooklyn public high school for Black History Month.
“American Trilogy: Arlington” places viewers in front of Muslim soldier Humanyun Saqib Khan’s headstone. His Gold Star parents spot at the Democratic National Convention and were mocked by then-candidate Donald Trump. On Khan’s headstone is the Muslim Star and Crescent and surrounding headstones have Jewish, Christian, Mormon and Buddhist symbols. The panorama was originally installed in Erie Pennsylvania, a red part of a swing state, the week before the Presidential election.
“American Trilogy: Washington” places viewers in front of the White House during the Women’s March on Washington, where they are surrounded by protest signs and a sea of pink pussy hats. It debuted at Spring/Break.
Happily, the exhibit received a lot of press. My favorite quotes were:
“He really seems to be on to something here–standing there looking out at the makeshift memorial for Brown, a black teenager who was unarmed when he was shot and killed by a white police officer, was really moving.” Nicole Disser, Bedford & Bowery
“We are living in unprecedented times. Sometimes, it helps to travel outside frames that are most familiar to us, the narratives we are spoonfed. Step into the panoramas of ‘American Trilogy’ and you just might walk out with a different perspective about a person, place, or cause you thought you knew all about.” Daniel Kessel, Bushwick Daily
“They are technical tours de force, but more importantly they are eloquent reminders of the obstacles facing contemporary America.” Robert Ayers, Ocula
I created another walk-in panorama, this one I shot in front of Captain Khan’s headstone at Arlington National Cemetery. Before the Presidential election, few people outside the military had heard of Gold Star Families or could truly comprehend the enormity of their sacrifices. Stepping inside, people will find themselves standing in front of Captain Humayun Khan’s headstone and see flowers, small stones, a teddy bear and letters left for Captain Khan’s Gold Star parents, Khizr and Ghazala. Surrounded by headstones spreading as far as the eye can see, viewers will see the Muslim Crescent Moon and Star on Captain Khan’s headstone alongside Christian, Mormon, Buddhist and other religious symbols. Off in the distance can be seen a funeral procession with a horse-drawn carriage as well as visiting Gold Star Families.
I will be installing it in Erie Pennsylvania, a conservative part of a swing state, from October 27th until October 29th. Larry Walczak, founder or eyewash Projects, is the curator and it will be located at PACA in Erie.
For the “Seeking Space” exhibit where hundreds of Bushwick Artist showed there work along with the launch of the book, “Making History Bushwick,” I created an animated gif. The first image is an historic photo from 1941 that fades into a recent photo I shot from the exact same spot, which then fades into a photoshopped creation of what I imagine will be there in 2020 – a large condo with a Starbucks at street level, of course.
Three photos from my book, “Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty,” will be in the exhibit, alongside work by similarly inspired photographers.
Opening is Friday, January 8th. More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/564244597061368/
On October 22 as part of Rise Up October, an event was held in Times Square called, “Say Their Names,” where the names of 100 people killed by police were read by their families. I installed my walk-in photograph of Ferguson, where Mike Brown was shot and killed. It was quite moving to talk to some of the families and hear what they had to say.
In May I wen to Ferguson to photograph, with images of the riots from the nightly news still vivid. I found something very different. On the yellow line where Michael Brown dies was a makeshift memorial made of hundreds of stuffed animals, flowers and notes. I created a 360 degree, walk-in panoramic photo that let people step into Ferguson.
In May I exhibited some new work titled, “Un-shredded,” at EyeWash at Schema Projects. I “acquired” a bag of shredded paper that was left outside for recycling by the police and reassembled parts of it. Even the privacy of the police isn’t guaranteed.