Slow has again partnered with ACRE to host Auntie Em’s Mobile Home as a part of ACRE’s year-long series of exhibitions by 2011 ACRE summer residents. This exhibition features new work from ACRE residents Maggie Haas and TJ Proechel.
Auntie Em’s Mobile Home
There is the bleak and the before.
A place in between. Until it gets better. We know the assumptions that go along with the trailer park. Perhaps they just moved into the smaller apartment, or have a home whose toilet functions only by pouring a bucket down the hatch to imitate a flush. They may still host a really awesome dinner party. Even trashy homes embellish; there is decor. There may be pejorative terms like lipstick on a pig, but there is something about improving upon the meager, the ugly and the compromised. Finding beauty where it is. Or making beauty with what you have.
Stories have a way of beginning with few resources, uncertain characters, and unremarkable ethics. There are certain kinds of stories that begin with a character’s hard work. Perhaps the hero will find something from within that will drive her toward a cause, a choice. The act of deciding will better the circumstance. Perhaps the outcome is less clear than better. Good guys enter the adventure out of desperation as often as by choice. Surviving the eye of a storm. And the after.
TJ and Maggie both tell stories that leave out trivial things like the plot, or even distinguished characters. There are whispers of getting things done—accomplishing. There are raw spots and signs of struggle, and limitation. Subjects are vaguely old school, but could just as easily be the hipster re-make. Theirs are stories of our times. Ultimately relatable, but not triumphant or redeeming.
TJ and Maggie enter the fray at different points—Maggie is perhaps more interested in compromised normalcy, coping with uncertainty and failure. TJ flirts with becoming a criminal or superhero, maybe both at the same time.