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'Modern Ruin' on 'Market Place'


by Stephen Becker 22 Feb 2010

Were you one of the 600-700 people who checked out “Modern Ruin” over the weekend? The art exhibition took over a Washington Mutual branch on Greenville Avenue in Dallas that never actually opened as a bank. (The government seized WaMu, and the branch was never taken over by anyone else.) In fact, the million-dollar building […]

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Were you one of the 600-700 people who checked out “Modern Ruin” over the weekend? The art exhibition took over a Washington Mutual branch on Greenville Avenue in Dallas that never actually opened as a bank. (The government seized WaMu, and the branch was never taken over by anyone else.) In fact, the million-dollar building ended up having just one function: to hold “Modern Ruin.”

As you can imagine, the artists who participated in the show focused much of their creative energy toward analyzing the recession and, more specifically, the building that would house their show.

I wasn’t able to attend the opening reception on Saturday night, but apparently it was quite a scene. I did stop by on Sunday, and everyone I talked to who also made it out Saturday night said over and over again that they were so excited by what felt like a real edgy art scene in town.

My favorite piece was Margaret Meehan’s Unbearable, in which Margaret managed to weave the aluminum blinds covering a window into the head of a bear (even non-MBAs can catch the symbolism there). When I ran into Margaret on Sunday, she said, “I think the artists had a sense of the waste – these blinds are really nice! – and trying to create some sense of potential with that, and acknowledging the space. But also there is a sense of what led to this building being empty. There’s a huge bear head in the middle of my piece – which is kind of a tongue-and-cheek nod – but at the same time trying to pull it back to why we’re in this building.”

The show was curated by Christina Rees and Thomas Feulmer.

If you missed it, Rees will be a guest on Market Place tonight, telling a national audience about “Modern Ruin.” Market Place airs on KERA (90.1 FM) at 6:30 p.m.

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