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PLEA / Surely The Wall

Surely the wall is sturdy. Surely the wall still stands.


Brick walls (did you know?) expand and contract with the weather. They shift over time with the city around them. The city’s changes leave marks.


In South Bend, Indiana, I see rows and rows of staring windows. The giant, looming Studebaker factory is being renovated. It has been gutted, and you can see clean through. The walls of South Bend have recorded the city’s history. Surely every change — in industry, economy, society — is reflected somewhere.


I am gone for two weeks, and when I come back the Studebaker facade is covered in slick new glass.




These walls are made of paper soaked in water and pressed against the face of an old industrial building in South Bend. The paper retains the impression of the wall’s surface. The history recorded in the bricks is recorded on my paper, too, but my record is, flimsy, thin, and displaced. My hope is that I have created one space that echoes another but does not replicate it. (Surely everything is unstable, including the wall.) A space that evokes a quiet stillness in the midst of the world’s great, ongoing shift.

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