At the Walker

April 26th, 2012

One month remains in the Lifelike exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. One installation, Recollecting Bremen Towne, looks particularly interesting. Keith Edmier designed this installation to replicate his 1971 childhood kitchen, based on his memories and photographs. Stepping into the space is like stepping back in time. Complete with a harvest gold Amana 25 Free-o-Frost refrigerator, a rotary phone, and the wallpaper he hand-stenciled and silk-screened to match the original. The asbestos tile in the original is also out of production, but Edmier was able to source an original tile from the current resident of his childhood home, from which he copied the pattern and had it laser-etched onto squares of vinyl tiles.

   
[Photo Credits: Walker Art Center]

In its heyday, the Bremen Towne estate, located in a suburb outside of Chicago, was a compilation of the most modern model homes. By keeping the installation devoid of any personal objects, Edmier has made the experience more personal to a large number of visitors. He has said that many people have walked into his exhibit and exclaimed that that had the very same kitchen, only in an avocado green palette or another color. The esthetics of the 1970s may not be appreciated, but for many, the installation awoke some long forgotten fond memories. Keith Edmier talks about this project in a video on at walkerart.org.

The Walker will also host graphic designer cum urban planner, Candy Chang. Chang has been an influential presence in post-Katrina New Orleans, where she used her art to invoke site-specific public participation. Through short, punchy and thought-provoking street art, like the "I Wish I Was" name tags for abandoned buildings, she asks locals to express what their community needs. In 2008, Chang used "This Would Be a Nice Place For a Tree" chalk stencils on the sidewalks of Chinatown in NYC to promote a tree-planting movement, and to help people envision how a little greenery could better the streetscape. Through her guerilla tactics, Chang gives residents the permission to voice how they want their neighborhood to change, and maybe that first shove to believe that they could play a role in the process.

   

As a part of the Plan-It Hennepin initiative, Candy Chang will be speaking the at the Walker Cinema this Thursday, April 26th, at 7p. The lecture is part of a series of free lectures co-hosted by the Walker, the Hennepin Theatre Trust, and Forecast Public Art. The lecture tonight is sold-out, though a wait-list will open an hour beforehand. Talk-It Hennepin lectures this spring will bring together a collection of leaders and innovative designers with the goal of breathing new life into the 2-mile stretch of downtown Hennepin Ave.  

Caroline Engel for Danish Teak Classics

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