Saturday, December 15, 2012

Honesty is the best policy


The 14th station from 14 Stations by David Michalek

Only one thing worth talking about today. David Michalek comes to visit.  Since we started working together 10years ago, David has grown from a creative  photographer draw to exploring the intersections of art, social justice and spirituality to one who has had major installation around the world, including two Lincoln Center, has been an adjunct professor at Yale Divinity School and a growing international reputation.

We’ve always connected well. It  goes back to 2002 when he created his 14 stations in cooperation with the Interfaith Assembly on Housing and Homelessness. It was scheduled for an installation at St.John the Divine Cathedral but a fire led to an opening installation at West-Park.  This piece would later be shown at Dia Beacon and the Brooklyn  Museum and  ultimately be sold to a private collector. But the original piece remained at West-Park. 

David had gone to the Interfaith Assembly, worked with present and formerly homeless people to reflect on the  traditional 14 stations and create tableaux showing the intersection between the centuries old tradition and their own life experiences. His work lived at West-Park for over a year.

I'm anxious  because his light boxes were stored in a  part of our building that had been invaded and occupied by pigeons during our absence. To be blunt, his exhibit was covered with pigeon shit. I was embarrassed to show him  what had happened.

But in testimony  to the fact that honesty is always the best, when I took him to the pigeon room, he was actually relieved. He tells me that the old light box technology has long since been overtaken by LED technology. if all goes well, Yale will pay to create new boxes for an anticipated spring showing at Marquand Chapel. The most important factor is that his photographs have been reserved and are still good behind their Plexiglas protection.  In other words, all is good and I am relieved,

When we were interviewed together on radio, David was asked what he thought as the creator. He very quickly stated  that he was not the creator, the people were. He only recorded what they created.

As always happens, the conversation stretches out as ideas flow back and forth. You never know which of these ideas might take root, might..... 

I look forward to the stations being reinstalled some day.

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