Once Upon a Time is Now
I was proud to be a part of the Peekskill Project V, which was a year-long event hosted by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. PPV featured sculpture, installations, performances and videos that were located in the museum and in a wide variety of locations around the community of Peekskill. The overall theme was the concept of a new Hudson River School. Thus, all of the artists were expected to address — in some way — their relationship to the river.
For my project, I decided to explore the literature of our region — specifically, the writings of Washington Irving. After re-reading his Stories of the Hudson, I concluded that the most compelling tale was that of Rip Van Winkle, the fellow who fell asleep for twenty years and returned to see the changes in his small village wrought by the passage of time.
At the opening reception for one of the PPV off-site exhibitions ( staged in a wonderful old abandoned warehouse on the Hudson River), I presented Once Upon a Time is Now. Dressed in 19th century style, I asked people to join me for a one-on-one conversation. After explaining the story of Rip Van Winkle, I posed this question to each participant: If you had fallen asleep in 1993 and woken up today, what would be the most notable changes to your world? I took notes as each person responded to my query. I will use these notes to fashion a sound piece that reflects the common and uncommon responses I heard.