America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler

Ian Berry, Editor, Bill Arning, Editor, Judith Hoos Fox, Essay by
Ian Berry, Editor, Bill Arning, Editor, Judith Hoos Fox, Essay by MIT Press (MA) $45 (216p) ISBN 978-0-262-01228-7
Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
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Witty, intelligent and politically astute, the projects created by Mel Ziegler and Kate Ericson in the decade before her 1995 death straddled the line between ""public"" and ""conceptual"" art-adapting techniques from rarified discourses of high art to create a visual language both accessible and aesthetically effective. Published to coincide with a touring retrospective, this thorough documentation of their influential activity, with 10 essays and an interview with Ziegler, includes works such as the 1985 ""Travelling Stories,"" created for the Seattle Transit System, in which citizens' silhouettes were inlaid onto sidewalks and quotes from them were sandblasted into stair risers, or the later ""America Starts Here,"" which involved replacing the glass in a decrepit licorice factory on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Ericson's and Ziegler's decade of collaboration ends, poignantly, with a series of cocktail napkin drawings made when Ericson was too ill to begin new projects, but still bursting with ideas. Their work benefits more than most from the documentation this book makes so generously available, a book that is sure to make their influence on succeeding generations of artists even clearer.
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