Turning Washington Mutual's "Modern Ruin" on Greenville Ave. Into Artistic Inspiration

Categories: Arts
wamugreenville.jpg
Longtime Friends of Unfair Park remember this picture -- it was taken a little over one year ago, just as Washington Mutual's box on Greenville Ave. was put on the market after JPMorgan Chase said, "Nah, we're good." A busto bank sitting on the former home of a strip club (The Fare) perched right next door to a pawn shop -- it was almost like ... like ... like an art project! Which it is now: Former Observer art critic and Road Agent and troublemaker Christina Rees, now on staff at TCU, sends word this afternoon that she and a bunch o' artists are taking over the WaMu February 20-21 for an exhibition called Modern Ruin.

Writes ChristinaThomas Feulmer in the release Christina sent:
The two-day exhibition will be the only use for the million-dollar building before the demolition process begins the following week. The bank building is a truly modern ruin -- a building that never met its purpose, and only existed as potential activity, potential economy, and hoped-for growth.

Seeking to take advantage of the space -- its social and cultural connotations, its materials, and its presence as direct and immediate evidence of the current economic condition -- 15 artists will create work inspired by and in dialogue with the building. Some artists will alter the building's materials and corporate interior, while others will stage actions and interventions within, and still others will use the background of the space as context for their work.
A full list of the 15 participating artists follows, as well as the entirety of the release.
MODERN RUIN
February 20-21, 2010
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 20, 8-11pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On Thursday, September 25, 2008 the U.S. Government took over Washington Mutual, selling most of it to JPMorgan Chase.

Roughly a year earlier, at the height of a frenzied economic bubble, Washington Mutual began building a new 1 million dollar branch at 5030 Greenville Avenue, just south of Lovers Lane. Just after its completion, the government seized WaMu, and JPMorgan Chase decided not to occupy the building.

The new building was never opened, never used, and has sat as an empty shell for more than a year.

On February 20, 2010, *Modern Ruin*--a two-day exhibition organized by Christina Rees and Thomas Feulmer--will open. The two-day exhibition will be the only use for the million-dollar building before the demolition process begins the following week. The bank building is a truly modern ruin - a building that never met its purpose, and only existed as potential activity, potential economy, and hoped-for growth.

Seeking to take advantage of the space--its social and cultural connotations, its materials, and its presence as direct and immediate evidence of the current economic condition--15 artists will create work inspired by and in dialogue with the building. Some artists will alter the building's materials and corporate interior, while others will stage actions and interventions within, and still others will use the background of the space as context for their work.

Artists in the exhibition are:

Frances Bagley
Tim Best
Michael Corris
Thomas Feulmer
Annette Lawrence
M
Margaret Meehan
Tom Orr
Richard Patterson
Cam Schoepp
Noah Simblist
Christoph Trendel
Terri Thornton
Kevin Todora
Jeff Zilm

Please join us for the opening reception/intervention with the artists the night of Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, 8-11pm. The exhibition will be open to the public on February 20th and 21st, 12-5pm, though in the case of some artists the work left behind will be documentation of the actions that took place the night before.
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