Friday, August 20, 2010
Welcome to America
As I helped put up an Ox piece with Jordan Seiler in Atlanta a man in a wheel chair sat unmoving in the intense heat of a blazing sun completely wrapped in felt, unmoving, undead. His body, completely covered in open wounds, I called to him repeatedly while standing over his chair. Eventually I thought that he was dead, but then he began to move, some recognition deep down. I was offering him a bottle of water. As his head tilted upward to look in my direction his eyes began to open revealing no pupils nor whites, but a solid red as if blood, not tears, filled his eyes. His shaking hand slowly moved to the bottle and his fingernails - as long as his fingers - scraped upon the bottle, gently, cautiously, then he took it a made a sound like a slow moan, almost mimicking the highway just beyond the cement wasteland I found him in. He was thanking me in a universal language which we both understood. And then I moved on and encountered more and more. Since arriving here I am constantly shocked and outraged by Man's inhumanity to Man in a land which prides itself on an ideology of equality, freedom, justice.
I am both inspired and saddened to find myself in a land where life is cheap and death sits on street corners alone and abandoned, like the city itself, little more than dead space. There is nothing in such a place which enables me to feel more pride than sorrow. Yet patriotism can be found even here. His chair had an American flag bound to it.
My God! What a place!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/greg_foster/ for the above image!