2008. The Great Recession. No one’s hiring. Massive firings. Family homes suddenly vacant, in disrepair. Many stripped of fixtures or occupied by people in need. As debtors drowned, neighborhoods emptied. Amidst massive foreclosures, failing banks received a $12 trillion bail-out* and survived. The American Dream of affordable housing was dead.
Many vacated spaces bore signs of desperation: jettisoned letters, food, snapshots, keepsakes. As the tidal wave of debt crested and broke across the backs of the capsized newly-homeless, we witnessed one of the largest flows of wealth from the rest of us to the one percent that this country has ever seen.
According to Julian Dahl, “This show is our family’s attempt to make sense of the collapse of 2008. I offer photographs of my children in abandoned places of our making, places left by other families before us. This work is an open invitation to consider standing for a world of affordable housing for all, because everyone deserves a home.”
For Julian’s co-exhibitor, Jon Haaland, memory is not permanent, individually or collectively. Memories are lost to time, trauma, choice. Some are lost to the next news cycle, yet the residues are all around us. A sense of loss, a scar, a ringing in the ears, a box of old photographs with unfamiliar faces, the traces left behind from our lives, the amount that is remembered paling in comparison to the amount committed to oblivion.
‘Immemorial’ is Jon’s exploration of these forgotten residues, the lessons unlearned, and the cycles of reclamation, decay, and renewal.
October 4-26, 2019, at VALISE GALLERY, 17633 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon Island, WA, OPENING October 4, 6-9pm. Regular hours Fridays and Saturdays 11am-5pm.