front of old National Acme factory

Cleveland 2021

deteriorating sawtooth roof at old factory
Crumbling Sawtooth

Cleveland is a city that has become symbolic of the social forces in our country for my work. I grew up in its shadow, barely visiting out of parental fear. Now I understand its maligned past. It is a symbol of human greed.

stairs and elevator shaft at old abandoned factory
Stairs and Elevator Shaft at W-S
top of old Warner-Swasey Building
Warner-Swasey Facade
staircase in abandoned building
W-S Stairs

Huge companies that built our country were located here. Westinghouse, Warner-Swasey, Ford, and US Steel just to name a few. But the business model for most industrial countries is built on exploitation. We destroy resources, people and entire communities in the pursuit of riches.

abandoned loading dock
Dock at Acme
rusting gears outside
broken chair sits outside remains of old factory
Last Seat at Acme

For this reason, cities like Cleveland become my source of social allusion. So these abandonments suggest our own abandoned future which we avoid. They are as hollow as the motivations of materialism.

abandoned rotunda in aquarium
Aquarium Rotunda
abandoned aquarium building
basement of old factory
W-S Basement

Indeed, placing a nude figure in these locations emphasizes our fragility. So too, the selfish ways dictate our demise. These buildings become our exoskeletons protecting us from nothing.

remains of old boilers in abandoned factory
W-S Boilers
remains of fire door in old factory
Fire door at W-S

In the end, it teaches one lesson – live for the moment. If you only look toward the next footstep you won’t see the approaching cliff.

detail of old Westinghouse factory entrance

broken toilet seat laying on floor of old factory


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