JoAnn Verburg, Untitled (for Robert Wilson), Signe; Untitled (pietà), Ashley and Keegan; Untitled (reflection), Bonnie
“Each space has been meticulously “preserved,” detritus, hanging cords and all, as if to suggest, like an architectural memento mori, that no matter what is to come in the renovation, over time change is inevitable.”
The conversion and expansion of the Alma Lights building has been constant since 1905, when it opened as Salvage Corps Station 2, a private auxiliary fire station. The site has housed everything from a YMCA to a wooden speedboat factory. The current remodeling for ALMA: Cafe, Restaurant and Inn mirrors major changes in the surrounding neighborhood. Rather than revealing this history of architectural adaptation per se, as the excavations by Molly Reichert and Sean Higgins and James Garrett Junior point to, JoAnn Verburg’s three installations are like found objects. Each space has been meticulously “preserved,” detritus, hanging cords and all, as if to suggest, like an architectural memento mori, that no matter what is to come in the renovation, over time change is inevitable. By filming her characters life size, in situ, the resulting evanescent video portraits with their breathing presence remind us of the human lives caught up in such change and reflect on the consequences for them, and us. The sound for each work creates an immersive, intimate and contemplative environment that additively are their own kind of din of the march of progress.
Sound design by Max Tucker. Thanks to Signe Bamsey, Alex Kermes, Jim Moore, Bonnie Fredrickson, Keegan Rentsch, and Ashley.