Carla Harryman, Cleveland
The American Dream is melting here on the corner of Church Street and W. 29 in Cleveland
As I was stating to cris cheek the other day as we discussed the durational project of our witnessing its meltdown, I only have antagonistic associations with the phrase, whose codification arrives in the early 1930s, or perhaps in the 1920s.
My view of the phrase as a cover for nationalistic ideology, exceptionalism, and its multiple histories and currencies of violence, in some company goes without stating. Whatever is happening just down the road says it all.
This reference to down the road is open to projection. But “you know what I mean.” I mean, when was the last time one listened when TAD was invoked? What do I attune to in its disappearance? Ta ta old man! Though M whom I conversed with earlier today would comment with a sense of her particular immigrant circumstance that it’s going to mean something different for everyone. Just now someone on the green is noting that it lends itself to isolationism. My sense is M does not want to see it go, and for her, the anti-immigration hyperbole down the road is the source of its disappearance.
I search for the language
that is also yours—
almost all our language has been taxed by war.
But here the physical, digital, and conceptual meet, and the ice sculpture is already showing signs of fragility. Its prism thinning, the ice letters become more transparent to the band aid-colored paint of a neighborhood building. The shadow moves to purple.
The disparity of wealth makes history.
“The shape of the letters causes them to bear weight differently”