August 30, 2010

from my recollection. 2000-2010

My father grew up on a family farm in rural Kansas. When he was in high school, they sold the house and land in order to moved into town. When I was a kid, some 25 years later, we would often go on drives with my grandparents and always, somehow, ended up there. At that point, it had been abandoned for years. Most of the land sat unattended and the house became dilapidated. The most recent owner attempted many times during my teen years to burn it down in order to claim insurance money. However, when you are located on top of a hill in the middle of the prairie, just a few miles outside a small town of only 400 some people, fires are detected fast. 

In 2010 he succeeded. This is what's left.

When I was 12, the property inspired me to pick up my first real camera. For years, through jr high, high school, my first art classes, and later my entire art school undergraduate degree, I continued to document our occasional outings there.


Shortly after the fire in 2010, my grandmother, father, and myself returned to the farm on the hill. The walk, the people, and the stories were the same. The land was not. The embers were still hot.
I scooped remnants of the land, house, and in result, its history into a bucket, took it home, and dispersed it into my grandmothers canning jars. These artifacts were then displayed across every Kansas City Art Institute mantel, an odd homely detail of the school which references the campus' past as prominent homes in a much younger Kansas City. The final pieces became like shrines. Reminders of time and transformation, the jars and their contents referenced both the land the jars held within and the land on which they were displayed, the midwest.

August 27, 2010