Copyright © 2011 - 2015, Walker Thisted
Site: landscape stretching between Texas and Chicago
Medium: edition of 10 books, 24" x 24"
Date: January 2014
Description: This work is the result of a longstanding interest in natural landscapes prior to colonization, industrialization, and urban sprawl. At the same time, it is the result of asking the extent to which the materiality of the contemporary city supports a memory of the events that occurred in the past in order to make the present appear as it does. This is to ask how much we know about the landscape that we inhabit and whether our understanding and knowledge of its deep history is at risk. Do we know the people who were here before us? If we forget this shared history, does it become harder to constitute a community? In order to ask these questions, I have constructed a story by surfing the web, collecting fragments of real lives and places and stringing them together through a set of fictional people, places, and events. These found images are confronted with real sites in the city of Chicago, The Ramova Theater and the nearby site of the former Chicago Union Stockyards in particular, and the question of whether fiction and art can promote urban regeneration. The result is an atlas constructed of found images and original words that describes the path that three generations have traveled. It is the site that this work interrogates, makes, and uses to point to future iterations. In this sense, these pages contain a proposition for further consideration about the histories that are evoked and the suggestions that arise in order to point to how these histories might guide action in the future. The choice of a format inspired by that of a screenplay is to immediately suggest that this is a script for a performance that will happen in the future. Whether it is on-screen or distributed throughout a gallery, this event will create additional space and time for this broad story to be presented and understood. This story is, generally speaking, about three generation of cattle ranchers from the Texas Panhandle, Childress County to be precise. The story unfolds over nine scenes. The photographs used are intended to evoke particular spaces and times. In some cases, they stand in for moving images that might be unearthed or produced in the future.
Download no. 223 - 2 - The Descendants HERE. View Part 2 Below.