The proposed sculptural landscape brings viewers into a surprising encounter with the banal products of industrial obsolescence. They ask if there is not a kind of dignity (that is not nostalgic or sentimental) that can be revealed within these broken elements through the act of bringing them into combination with each other. But beyond this, the project has a deeper concern: can a tool, a system, a landscape sometimes be so broken that it is unrecoverable?
There are thousands of abandoned industrial and urban sites across Alabama. Which of them contains its own regeneration within it? Which are destined for complete withdrawal from the realm of human endeavor? For which terrains can we not speak of a ‘repurposing’ at all?
The project does not propose a simple and literal conversion of toxic and derelict sites into gardens. Rather it finds in postindustrial sites, as in gardens and sculpture, a complex interaction of objects and processes that causes us to question the boundary conditions that separate these fields of operation.
Sites of Exchange is a collaborative venture with sculptor Paul Cullen.