Walking through Hundreds of Pieces of Floating Trash in Mimi Jardine’s “Don’t Cry For Me Espera DeCorti”
“Growing up in the damp and subtropical Deep South in the late 60’s early 70’s I was faced with the problem of deciphering the messages behind the schizophrenia-inducing images thrown at me via all media, especially TV. How was I to reconcile these images and messages with what my life actually was?
I was affected deeply by the “Keep America Beautiful” advertising campaign that starred Iron Eyes Cody (born Espera DeCorti). Specifically, when a bag of garbage came flying out of a passing car and landed, exploding at his feet.
My people had done this. My brother had been that unidentified person in that car. The garbage had been ours. The road was on the way home from our weekends with our grandparents at our river house. The occurrences were many. The guilt and shame were uncomfortable. That guilt and shame were added to the other layers of guilt and shame that came with being a Southerner at that time in history. A time when the educated adults often told me, thankfully, “Do as I say and not as I do.”
My guilt and shame have been simmering inside me for so long they have become a part of me; they are a catalyst for my actions. By collecting these items of suburban litter on my frequent neighborhood walks I am genuflecting as penance for the sins of my people. I am attempting to make reparations for the wrongs done by my ancestors.
By sorting, cleaning, and packaging these items I am making tidy a shameful past.”
Mimi Jardine’s “Don’t Cry For Me Espera DeCorti”
Eye Lounge Gallery June 21st – July 14th.