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.
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.
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.
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.
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.