Untitled at Congress Yard Project

For the piece, “Untitled”, I made eight realtor signs and installed them at Congress Yard. I grew up in Seattle and moved to Portland about six years ago. Both cities have undergone serious change—communities have been pushed out, history has been paved over, small businesses have been priced out. We often mark and commemorate lives passed, but when a community changes beyond recognition, what are we left with? As I’m writing this, Ken Burns is on the radio telling me that history is always now, always right in front of you. As a handy-man that fixes leaky faucets, rotten steps, and broken locks, I work with the bodies of these buildings and feel the dampness of that history, as it passes from someone’s kitchen, through my hands, and into the dumpster. What would it look like if for the houses, families and businesses that vanished, we had a public record that marked more than a fiscal transaction? What existing vernaculars might we borrow from?