Thursday, September 9, 2010

Duke Riley: An Invitation To Lubberland

a press release from the boss:

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
On View September 10th, 2010 through January 9th, 2011

8501 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-2919
(216) 421-8671

Opening: Friday, September 10, 2010 7pm-10pm


Buried beneath the city of Cleveland is a prehistoric river known as Kingsbury Run. Before it was rerouted underground, itinerant workers made their home along its banks. During the depression of the 1890s, a “tramp census” conducted by John McCook indicated 6% of the population of the United States were itinerant. At that time Cleveland was regarded as a “hobos’ paradise” because of the gracious handouts itinerants would receive, and lenient treatment by the city’s police.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s the itinerant population swelled to 30%, and the Kingsbury Run grew into a sprawling shantytown. However, a series of gruesome murders occurred along the Run, targeting the hobos. As a band-aid solution to stop the serial killings, the police department arrested and displaced the population, burning the neighborhood to the ground.


Today, itinerant cultures both nationally and globally are being marginalized to the brink of extinction. The hobo census, a once a respected barometer for the American economy, is now obsolete.

Motivated by our current economic climate, I traveled the country by freight train, attempting to re-conduct McCook’s census, ultimately returning to Cleveland. By infiltrating the sewer system, I regained access to the forgotten Kingsbury Run. In search of the lost “hobos paradise” I followed the Run, beneath the streets of Cleveland, to its headwater.

so i've been in cleveland for two weeks installing this show, doing things like laying bricks, sanding down rusty railroad spikes and fillings projector screen wells with whiskey.

oh, and requisitioning materials.
that's why you haven't heard from me.

the show opens tomorrow and not only is it brilliant in all the ways you'd expect from the boss, but there are also a few photographs of mine in the process room. like the one below:

to see an endless barage of snapshots from a trainhop trip we took in the process of producing this project, click on the sets below. did i mention that i love my job?

cleveland hop: getting there
cleveland hop: there
cleveland hop: getting home


Mieke said...

Amazing kitty!!! I wish I could be there! I love your job too!!

kim said...

It's looking good. Good luck tonight!

Sudz said...

Aha, now we get the "rest of the story".
Overalls and sledgehammer, it's a good look for you.
I'm so glad you are having a blast.
Love Aunt Sudz