Friday, June 21, 2013

The Heidelberg Project





The Heidelberg Project

I MET a grad student from the university
Who said: there is a house on Heidelberg draped in tires,

And piping and an old doll with blinking lids, faded red lips,
And limp yellow locks dangling over one eye.
Despite the grime and cold she is smiling, almost pretty.
It’s clear in better days she was a pampered child’s companion.
There are rusted wind chimes and holey shoes dangling like
New Year Eve's streamers. And the whole spectacle says:
“I am your orphan, abandoned, take in my beauty,
You silly visionaries, don’t despair!”
What remains: crusty dreams, wind tossed and naked,
A lone maiden with arms outstretched to welcome.





Tyree Guyton a native Detroit artist founded the Heidelberg Project. As a young woman I remember when his work captured national attention. Find more here. And here.

22 comments:

  1. oh snap...i love the thought behind this house..and that sign...the abandoned orphan and while some will just turn their head or cry out that its ugly...there is beauty...nice social statement they are making in this...

    and as to your comment, i as well...smiles.

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  2. love the idea behind it..the abandoned things living on..making their own art...

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  3. Hope you check out the link.

    Thanks for coming by.

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  4. Wonderful concept. Even objects have a history. Imagine the human hands that have touched it and their history, lineage...

    Nice colorful house

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  5. love this piece - there is a beautiful lightness of touch and deftness of imagery which is so difficult to achieve. Totally complements the subject matter in tone and expression. Nice work.

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  6. Thank you both. Had a computer crash a year or so ago, so I couldn't reference the exercise that prompted this piece. I believe we were emulating a work we liked.

    Guyton is urban, native Detroiter whose work speaks to me.

    Welcome to Black and Gray.

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  7. Vandana, interesting interpretation.

    I've always seen the (original artist's) work as defiant, arrogant and in a community sense, hopeful.

    What makes you think of pain?

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  8. Love the idea of there being beauty in the discarded! A very fine write, and I love the photo. I would like to see this place.

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  9. I think it's interesting how even in the depths of discard and disrepair, you can describe her state in a decorative way. It really speaks to what this house once was and could be again...

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  10. Click on the link at the bottom of the post, Mary. In the 90s, we could drive around the city of Detroit and see his work. He resurrected art in old, war-torn, abandoned neighbors, strident social commentary from an artist's point of view. Moving and controversial.

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  11. Andrea, maybe it's because I'm Detroiter. And I remember the political climate of the time these works garnered national attention. I grew up in this city that is now ravaged and broken but not dead. I think's that what Guyton is saying. Don't abandoned me simply because I'm no longer shiny and new. I still matter. I'm still here.

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  12. There is such hope in this poem - I love how vividly it's written. Beautiful!

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  13. La Tonya, thank you for the visit. For the last couple of years I have thought that if I were in my 20s and not my sixties David and I would head for Detroit. We love what is happening there today in the art scene. This is a wonderful project. Thanks for the links. I would be scribbling public poetry and mixing media with other artists! Your poem truly did justice to the project. I was reading through the comments and someone mentioned pain. You replied that one thing that you had always thought the artist projected was arrogance. I have always felt that arrogance was projected when one did not have real self confidence, that arrogance came from a place of pain. Now that is NOT a take on the artist. It is a take on arrogance - and just my own. I have been exposed to a lot of arrogance! ;)

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  14. I love this - the poem , the photo, and the fact that this type of art happens to color up the world and make us smile....lovely. Especially love your closing lines.

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  15. So beautiful and so heartbreaking...

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  16. I love the idea of this and especially your close--I love that things have heart somehow--and can extend something of themselves or of another--or of our dreams--

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  17. Liz, good point about arrogance. I think the arrogance here for me is the speaker's tone. He is bold, young, idealist. Arrogance might be wrong and later I realized the pain Van was talking about. It is there, but I had moved past it.

    I really love the dialogue that ensued.

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  18. I really like this! Thanks for sharing!
    Did you see my post:
    http://mcguffysreader.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-special-review-of-weeds.html

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  19. I have seen these houses on instagram;thanks for the poetic back-story.

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  20. Finding hidden beauty and story in a seemingly pile of junk is an exercise I'd like to do myself. Brilliant poem. I enjoyed reading it. :)

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This is an interactive site. Dialogue is the aim here. latonya.blackandgray(at)gmail (dot)com

Thank you

Thank you
I know what I think. I write to hear what you think. Let's talk about it.