Spirits of Promise and Loss

Spirits of Promise and Loss, 2020
(Installation view) Six-channel video installation with audio
Dimensions: 4’ x 40’
Duration: 02:31 (loop)

This piece uses photographic images the Old Town Mall in Baltimore as a backdrop for the behaviors of ghost-like characters that populate a former model of utopian possibility. Old Town Mall was one of numerous experiments across the U.S. in urban mall development that strove to bring mid-century suburban shoppers, back downtown. Initially popular, the Old Town Mall is now mostly abandoned. This free-standing six-channel rear-projected video installation, standing four feet tall and over forty feet long, with panels hinged at an angle from each adjoining panel, references the Asian screen, once a popular decorative device used to separate interior spaces.  With China as a competing economic power that has usurped the manufacturing base that was once the economic mainstay of U.S. cities such as Baltimore, the piece is a contemporary media work, which speaks to urban entropy, underscoring current class and cultural partitions.

Spirits of Promise and Loss was part of a solo exhibition that took place at the Peale Center in Baltimore, Maryland in 2023, and part of the group show Codex, at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, in Baltimore, Maryland in 2021.

For Further Reading:

Alexander, Christopher with Ishikawa, Sara, Silverstein, Murray. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, Oxford University Press, 1977.

Author, David H., Dorn, David, and Hanson, Gordon H. “The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States”, (October 2013) American Economic Review 2013.

Hamilakis, Yannis, Pluciennik, Mark and Tarlow, Sarah. Ed. Thinking through the body: archaeologies of corporeality. New York, NY, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2002.

Jones, Amelia, Self/Image: Technology Representation and the Contemporary Subject. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.

Lepecki, Andre. Exhausting Dance: Performance and the Politics of Movement. New York and London: Routledge, 2006.

Norton, Peter D., Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City. Cambridge, Massachusetts, London England, The MIT Press, 2008.

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