I think James Casebere is stalking me.
That’s my house in “Landscape with House (Dutchess County, NY) #8.” Sure, my house isn’t in New York — it’s in Fargo — but he isn’t fooling me with that title.
See it? It’s the house in the foreground, all by its lonesome on the street with driveways to nowhere. It’s the only house without window shades; the one without pigment that’s fenced in by hedges.
Look. My house cowers below the looming houses on the hill; those big colorful houses with above ground pools, TV antennae, and playgrounds. And above them, a stately blue house presides at the top of the hill. Me, I’m at the bottom — colorless — watching the sun set behind the other houses, blocked from a forest of color by my betters. It’s rather sad – this exploitation of my life and house for art.
Take another look: See how there are no driveways visible at the bigger houses, how their curtains keep them insulated, how their pools, barbecue sets, and TVs keep them tethered to their homes?
I have mobility. My home has the only vehicle in sight in this unpeopled world. I have a bike. I have a house that spills onto the sidewalk, connected to a road that leads to the great unknown. I moved to the Twin Cities from Fargo to escape this life — to become something more than the value of my house size — to connect to culture by going to events like the Lifelike exhibition at the Walker Art Center.
But then I turn a corner in the gallery and James Casebere is shoving my old life right back in my face. And I nearly trip over a bronze sleeping bag as I back away.
About the author: Joel Hagen is a freelance writer living in the Twin Cities. His web portfolio is at www.mrjoelhagen.com.
Viewfinder posts are your opportunity to “show & tell” about the everyday arts happenings, interesting sights and sounds made or as seen by Minnesota artists, because art is where you find it. Submit your own informal, first-person responses to the art around you to katie(at)mnartists.org, and we may well publish your piece here on the blog. (Guidelines: 300 words or less, not about your own event/work, and please include an image, media, video, or audio file, and one sentence about yourself.)