My grandfather’s home was built on stilts on the Mississippi River. The Delta experiences a flood every few years since he has lived there. At times the water rises to the top of the levee, other times it covers the stilts. The last two times, the lower level of his home flooded. This process has forced him to move but he can’t sell the house. How does one describe the relationship between the sentimental value it holds for him and the lack of use the house holds for any potential buyer? Now it sits vacant. My mother says, “A house is a living thing, if neglected, it will die.”
I have been looking through pictures on Zillow, particularly of vacant homes. These are either “for sale by owner” or “pre-foreclosure”: steps, in the real estate world, that indicate a small death for the home. These images illustrate abandonment, lifelessness, and lack of use that breaks my heart or at times makes me laugh.
This exhibition features a collection of images from homes that were in this phase in the metro Atlanta area in the month of August. The collection is viewed on a screen, the form that most individuals can choose to view death, heartbreak and joy, at a distance, daily. In the space there are two accumulations. One, a tangled pile of the edge of carpet, cut away from a room it was too big for. The other, miss matched blinds that once longed for pairs or groups, was discarded, collected and reintegrated together.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website