Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Construction Season: Reframing the Menomonee Valley.

It snowed again overnight. Just east of the 35th Street Viaduct in the Menomonee Valley there is a vacant lot below the curve in Canal Street. This morning the surface of the lot looked as if a sheet had been spread over it with military precision. Or perhaps not so much a sheet as another of those blank canvases that has made the Valley what it is today. Welcome to the new American landscape.

This canvas was primed and ready to paint.

By mid-day a team of caterpillar shovels and bulldozers had clanked their way back and forth across this canvas like so many gargantuan paintbrushes. The brilliant white snow now framed a dark rectangle of exposed earth, like a somberly hued Rothko abstraction. The plans for the site, however, like so much that is happening in the Valley, are far from abstract. They also exemplify the hopeful new attitude that, if it prevails against the winds of pessimism brought on by multiple contemporary crises, has the power to alter human destiny.

That’s a lot to ask of a small, local company that packages tea.

The rest of this story and additional photos are posted on my other blog: Arts Without Borders


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