habitat for artists


Margo Elsayd – Statement

“The ‘voids’ that have been left after the riots in the USA are full with the consequences of racism, nationalism, and capitalism.  They are open museums of the evils of the 20th century, abolishing these places by re-planning, redeveloping, revitalizing and Renaissanciation, will not delete the systems that produced these ‘voids’ and waste”.

This is a quote by Gil Doran, in an article titled “The Dead Zone and the Architecture of Transgression.” I think of this quote often, particularly when I come across construction zones where beautiful row houses or boarded up storefronts once stood, which is a common image while walking through neighborhoods undergoing redevelopment in D.C.  Yet, Washington D.C. may just be the most powerful city in the world, but what happens to the urban lifestyle that drives us all to the city to begin with when we only cater to the middle and upperclass consumer culture?

All of my thoughts about gentrification that I have had for the last several months came full circle upon arriving at the habitats for my residency.  There I was, in a wealthy and political driven part of the city, across from the White House surrounded by security guards.  Nevertheless, here we are still faced with issues of racism, classism, and capitalism.  With these thoughts in mind, my goal was to create a scene that would not typically be seen in this part of the city.  Using the materials I had been collecting from neighborhoods undergoing gentrification and shipping pallet wood to symbolize consumerism, and help from local city children from KidPower and friends I sought out to create a poetic expression of some of my thoughts.

Filed under: 2012, Corcoran Comments Off