Wednesday, March 27, 2013

4 days, 600 miles + 2 bags of potatoes later...

with karyn denny, my assistant on day 1

inspired by marco sueno's recent work in mexico i decided to cover the facade of an abandoned trailer.  i figured i'd go big with my first installation on the rez in 2013 and to do a piece that celebrates the season - spring time which is sheep shearing time.  i talked with the woman who manages the property at gray mountain where yote, jorael elliot and i have worked on old gas storage tanks.  the proprietor, glenda, was totally down with me pasting this trailer.

day 1 went a little slower than expected.  i worked about 6 hours and was slowed trying to paste paper onto shards of glass in the windows.  

i honestly thought i'd be able to finish the trailer on sunday, day 2.  however, if i'd spent more time looking up at the front moving in on day 1, i would have known what was coming.  actually, i checked the weather forecast for sunday but didn't realize i'd experience gusts of wind at over 40 miles an hour.  it was so windy that i secured a huge rock to the ladder so the wind wouldn't blow it over.  this proved to be useless.  at least my camera and tripod which were secured in a similar way didn't hit the dirt.  i worked alone for about 5 hours and was thankful when people from the community stopped by.

the rolls of paper i pasted were 3 feet wide x 10 feet long.  because of the wind, i couldn't paste a 10 foot long piece of paper.  my strategy for installing in the wind involved going into the trailer, unrolling the paper and cutting the strips in half to 5 feet.  it turns out the trailer is a squatting site though i didn't see anyone during my 4 days there.

because this site is 75 miles from my house and i work during the week, i had to wait a week before returning to the spot.  i returned 2 days ago with 2 friends from flagstaff (james martin + catherine ryan).  the proprietor, glenda, and her husband stopped by to check out the process and my progress.  when i started work on the site a week ago i gave her a bag of oranges and a sac of potatoes to thank her for letting me work there.  i did the same on day 3.

about an hour after glenda and her husband left, a truckload of 4 people pulled up.  a young man of about 15 demanded to know who told me i could paint their trailer and said i had to stop doing what i was doing and to paint the trailer back the way it was.  it'd been a long day.  i was tired and this wasn't what i wanted to hear.  his sister, mom and grandmother joined the conversation.

when i told them that i'd gotten permission from glenda, they weren't impressed and had no idea who glenda was.  as it turned out, the grandma owns the trailer.  she'd moved out of it years ago and was sad that it had been vandalized and all of her belongings stolen.  she said that she had plans to haul the trailer back to her present property and to restore it.  i didn't challenge this but couldn't imagine the trailer surviving a trip anywhere.  the woman's name is mary.  she said money was preventing her from doing anything with it.  in fact, may said she was having trouble getting hay for livestock and for gas.  catherine and i pooled the money we had and gave it to her.  they left satisfied.  it occurred to me that she should be the person getting the sacs of potatoes.

day 4 was much like day 2.  it was windy and i worked alone.  at least my ladder didn't get blown over once i attached the big rock.

ahhhhh.  spring time on the rez.  the cycle begins again.

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