In the summer of 2016 I began a long-term assignment that required driving from Orange County down to San Diego on Interstate-5 (I-5). While in San Diego’s North County bumper-to-bumper I-5 commuter traffic I had an opportunity to closely observe the complexity of the concrete barriers and hedges that had been developed as a roadway median. Over the years this median was now in a state of disrepair with numerous gaps, dead or dying vegetation, broken concrete, weeds, and debris that provided an occasional glimpse of the opposite urban landscape. The details of this median barrier are fascinating and foreign to me as I had rarely noticed these myriad artifacts while hurling past at 65 miles per hour.
It was during this same time that a presidential candidate was insisting that a “Bigly” medieval wall was needed for the American-Mexican border located just a few miles further south. This section of the I-5 freeway median provides a visual parody and a political critique of what was being proposed; an ineffectual barrier. Middle Ground is a visceral response to the concept of what is means to stop, impede, restrict, or interfere with the essence of humanity. I am amazed that we had not learned anything from the recent Berlin Wall or the long history of the Great Wall of China which did not stop the invading hordes.
The Middle Ground leporello artist book unfurls to a length of 21 feet, the same length of a K-rail (Jersey Walls) that are used to construct the median barrier. Ironically the prominent plant used to create the freeway median is Oleander, which requires minimal water and has beautiful flowers throughout the year, but is also one the deadliest plants on earth and symbolic of the equally dangerous barbed wire that sits on top of the actual border walls.
This is a limited edition artist book (Edition 99), hand bound by the artist, all are signed and numbered
Available Editions: 10/99, 11/99, 12/99, 13/99, 14/99, 15/99
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