Sunday, September 24, 2006
Georges Rousse is a French artist who installs perspective art in buildings that are in transition. Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus of Durham raised the money to bring him to Durham and install art in some of the unused buildings around town. This blue square is in the Chesterfield building on the corner of Duke Street and Main. The art itself is minimalist, in my view, but the significance is great due to its placement. On the way to the installation, we all discovered a long-abandoned work environment. Linoleum floors, long, narrow hallways, gigantic metal desks, fluorescent lights, and frozen, oversized industrial clocks told us that it used to be a floor of administrative offices. I love that a photocopier was incorporated. (I *think* it is a photocopier...)
The circle one was my favorite. It was as if it appeared overnight, leaving scraps of another era intact:
The Chesterfield will be demolished someday soon because it is cheaper to use its foundation than to renovate the existing floor plans, electrical capacity, and plumbing. Durham is growing and its population doesn't desire a building like this. I would prefer that this be preserved in some way and I think it's more than nostalgia. We should remember our old work environments because they tell us where we used to be and where we are going.
The Independent's David Fellerath had an excellent article about it this week. The official site for the project can be found here.