Tenement Testament

Her hand pulled on the top line, the wheel rotating and squeaking, as the bottom line, to which she’d clothes-pinned the Feel The Bern t-shirt, moved outward. Today’s other items included more items with political messages — Power To The People, Give Peace A Chance, Black Lives Matter — and a tea towel she’d silkscreened with a photo of Emma Goldman. It was beginning to get really cold outside, but she was committed to the project through the end of the month.

A Tenement Testament she called it and the photographer was down there every day, documenting her work for a gallery exhibition in November.
It was an homage to her mother and her generation, who every Monday hung the laundry like this between buildings, to be dried by sun and wind. The variety of clothing sizes and shapes reflected the families living there, a sort of visual census.

The photographer was even there, with umbrella, on the rainy days that she had planned for — hanging items with unfixed dyes, so that colors would run down and splatter onto a white sheet stretched in the yard. A stack of beautiful Bread & Puppet banners was slated for tomorrow.

As there were none of these clothes lines remaining, one had to be set up from her window to a resident’s across the back yard. This morning as she had pulled in the previous day’s project there was a note from that neighbor attached to the line, thanking her for sharing this creativity with the neighborhood.


© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Heliocentric Redux 2019
Heliocentric. October 2018 writing project — one short sketch a day, under 250 words each, circling like a planet around The Sun.

Writer, visual artist, philosopher, autodidact, curmudgeon. More than half of what i do is make believe. https://alexanderhirka.nyc

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