I hate that I couldn't make the first night of the final show in Hal Samples Gallery on Main Street -- it's become a sort-of home-away-from for my family and me in recent months. Alas, Willie Baronet's HOME? will be there till November 28, available by appointment only; the phone number's on the gallery's home page. Till then, then, Baronet's prepared for you Web browsers a slightly altered version of the video he debuted at the show last night; awful kind of him. Here too is an unedited excerpt from the statement he wrote for the show:
Since 1993 Ive been buying and collecting homeless signs from people on the streets, in subways, under bridges, in cities near and far. It began from an awkwardness I felt when Id pull up to an intersection and encounter a person holding a sign, asking for help. Like many people I wrestled with whether or not I was doing good by giving them money, wondered if they would spend the money on food or alcohol or drugs. Mostly I struggled with my moral obligations, and how my own choices contributed in conscious or unconscious ways to the poverty I was witnessing. I struggled with the unfairness of the lives people are born into, the physical, mental and psychological handicaps. And in my struggle I often avoided eye contact with those on the street, unwilling to really see them, and in doing so avoided seeing parts of myself.