I put up one of these bad boys near the statements as a way to publicize the site without getting in the way of the text itself. They’re vinyl , so they should hopefully stick around for quite some time.
The best thing about these stickers is that anyone can declare Art right on the spot. Put one of ‘em on a rusty pipe on the street, the neighborhood cat or a urinal, and you’ve just turned the art world on its head (if you’ve time traveled back to 1916).
I’m gonna put these things up for sale on the site eventually, but if you really want some now, e-mail me, and we can work something out.
This statement is located in the pseudo-gentrified “loft district” of downtown St. Louis. If I’m not mistaken, this building was under renovation before the builders ran out of money a couple years ago and abandoned it (again). This piece tested my ability to write, print and mount something in the shortest time possible (about 2 hours, but I think it can be done faster).
Dorsa, a Door that is Not a Jar. 2010
This piece posits a 20th Century in which the ‘roaring’ 1920s were ultimately the last hedonistic gasp of an American society that was fundamentally bankrupt both morally and economically. Were it not for the unimaginable scale and tragedy of World War II and the industrial ‘jump-start’ it offered, would America have climbed from its “great” depression, nestling itself comfortably into the title of ultimate world superpower? Indeed, this edifice poses the ‘what-if’ scenario of the “great” war not happening. The beauty of this art-deco structure hints at the optimistic sentiment of the 20s, ironically juxtaposing it with endless decades of abuse, neglect and abandonment. “Dorsa,” a plural of the word “dorsum,” meaning “back,” evokes the idea that the greatest times are indeed behind us.
Here it is, the first Art declared in another state. 2 down, 48 to go. This one is in Evanston, Illinois, just on the North edge of Chicago. (Special thanks to Margie & Alan!)
Baby Steps. 2010
A potent metaphor for progress, stairs literally and figuratively raise us from the brutish mud that our ancestors climbed from and lift us toward the heavens. The dichotomy of this ancient form of transport, for indeed it is a two-way street, reminds us that all advancement is reversible. This piece’s “baby steps” evoke the slow, treacherous path toward human exaltation, whether it takes the form of “high” culture, art, or “skyscraper” edifices.
The El and the Metra, which travel over this work, embody our society’s current level of transportational evolution. Can humanity’s progress not best be measured by how its participants choose (and are forced) to travel to education, employment and/or social gatherings? Located near such a nexus of home and the external, these stairs confront us with the question— do we plateau where we ‘stand’ or climb higher, all too aware of our precarious position and the potential for tumbling back from whence we came?
If this is your first visit to the site, you might want to check out some of my favorite pieces so-far.
Declare it Art is collaborative: Learn how to make one of your own statements here. and send ‘em in!
This dumpster near my apartment has now been claimed. The piece is not too kind to the residents (in an abstract sort of way), but I’m also damning myself in the process, so it all evens out. I guess.
Once again nothing is staged for the photo, all this stuff magically appeared the morning after trash day.
Though not officially titled “Congrats You Did It!” the writing on the car (celebrating a graduation) in this photo is all too perfect.
Worth It? 2010
At first blush appearing identical to the other detritus bins lining the alleys of the area, this piece plays with questions of identity, uniformity, and cultural priorities. The contents of this receptacle cycle weekly through a rogue’s gallery of modern American waste, its location near a prominent University filled with ‘enlightened’ individuals only serves to make its contents all the more offensive. A testament to overconsumption from those who should be the most aware of its poisonous global consequences; this vessel often contains perfectly usable textbooks, clothing, furniture, electronics, paper goods, as well as an endless array of recyclables and spoiled food. Actors have been hired to intermittently search through this dumpster, collecting objects suitable for reselling or reuse. These performers, highly trained and draped in the costumes of poverty, should serve as bitter reminders to the residents of the area of their state of “Haves” in the “Haves/Have Nots” equation, but ultimately only further damns them with their complacency and inaction.
A little background to the setting of this Art. This building is in the University City ‘Loop’ in St. Louis. Right by Washington University. It is a fairly multi-cultural area, and is easily one of the more interesting and diverse parts of the city. It is also one of the few parts of town where it’s relatively feasible to walk most places you’d need to get to on an average day. This piece actually ended up being a real outlet to bitch about this out of place, ugly-ass building that’s unfortunately placed as to make the Loop’s expansion more difficult.
Every (Wo)Man is an Island. 2010
Offensive by design, this piece is meant to remind the passing pedestrian of his or her inherent and unavoidable alienation in the world. Even in a culturally vibrant location surrounded by institutes of higher learning, music and art, this edifice expresses humanity’s fundamental loneliness. A brick façade filled with cold (yet physically hot) machines; servers distributing information to countless solitary souls glued to pale computer screens. Like a raised welt on the skin of the area, this building dominates, imposes and estranges. Evoking images of communist-era Russian construction, this utilitarian abomination intentionally disrupts the flow and growth of the neighborhood, just as the mass-media that the machinery of the building distributes erodes the community on a grander scale.
Here are the bony scraps of a dead bird on the sidewalk directly across from St. Louis’ Contemporary art museum. It’s been there for months and I’m amazed and disturbed to see how glued it seems to be to the ground.
Not to fall too deep into what I’m parodying, but I think this scene works pretty well compositionally speaking, especially this photo. This entire piece is exactly as I found it.
There you have, the very first official Art I Declared! It is done and it can’t be un-arted.
The bird is long-since gone. Tragically there is apparently some sort of sidewalk cleaning in the city of St. Louis after all. An imprint of the spinal column can still be seen on the cement, and the Art lives on in all of our hearts forever. Right?
Icarus’ Fall. 2010
A piece that poses questions about the inherent entropy and decay of nature transposed against the static and stagnant ‘nature’ of a modern metropolis. Is modern man, not unlike Icarus, flying too close to the sun, only to find our own wings melting, sending us tumbling toward the ‘sidewalk’: a gutter of mass media depravity in a dystopian nightmare? Nature reclaims this creature despite the lack of soil, just as atrophy and deterioration will eventually swallow entire cities, countries, and eventually humanity.