She Dreamed of a Place Called Fat City is a collaboration with Candy Chang that explores the possibilities of deeper storytelling in public space. Combining surreal collage with a short fable, the mural invites passersby to reflect on the mythologies we create for our communities and ourselves. Inspired by Fat City’s flamboyant reputation in the 1970s, the story describes a woman’s search for revelation. The noir imagery that illustrates her quest consists of over 1000 vertical lines that evoke a curtain of beaded rain, accentuating the dreamlike quality of the mural.
She heard about this place back in ’74 while a snowy television hummed in the corner of a desert motel, half-tuned to a late night talk show, the one where Trini Lopez tells Carson that everybody wants to make it down to Fat City. Decades passed but she never made the trip due to a never-ending series of accidents and decisions, the little victories and deep wounds that make a life and steer us down different roads. Fat City slipped from her mind along with the rest of the world, and she rarely left her sofa, having given up on time and space. Some might call it a crisis of faith but if you asked her, she would only tell you that she was very tired—until last night, when Fat City appeared in a wild dream that shivered with the promise of revelation.
They say Fat City is where the signals of most American dreams originate but she didn’t know this when she pointed her car south. A peculiar sensation of hope began grinding in her chest like old gears returning to life, pulling her down to the bottom of the nation where she found herself zooming along a ribbon of concrete that spanned an astronomical lake, a far-out bridge to a future planet. She craved a new kind of electricity, something that might shock her back to life, and she thought she might find it here, just like Trini Lopez promised. An old philosopher sold her a sno-ball and told her that our souls are made of one thousand tiny sounds. “Sometimes our bodies absorb the vibrations of the people we pass in the street,” he said. “This causes us to dream.” His face looked like an old newspaper and she believed him. He handed her a telescope and told her to listen carefully.
Someday she will be known as the Voice of the Bayou, but tonight she’s just another nighthawk, another enemy of sleep drifting down the boulevard, a lonely soul craving a witness. You’ll find her standing on the corner. She’s the woman who looks like she is waiting for instructions. She listens to the people who pass her by, tuning in to their stories about the old neon names. Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and the Place Across the Street. Now the Place Across the Street is someplace else. Everything changes and perhaps this is how it should be. For a moment she hears the godhead in the traffic on Veterans Boulevard as she imagines the heartaches, catastrophes, and fantasies playing behind those windshields like one thousand secret movie screens. The moment passes. But if you stand in one place long enough and pay attention, something’s bound to happen. You might catch a sound or an image, something that will keep you going. And right now she hears shuffling feet, the scraping of a cane. She watches two ancient lovers drop to their knees like a prayer and carve their names into a patch of wet cement. Malcolm loves Marie. Everything changes, but hopefully some things won’t.
“A tantalizing 21st Century cross between Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and On the Road, this remarkable and utterly original memoir heralds the arrival of a new and important American voice. The Road to Somewhere will take you places you will not easily forget.”
A man believed his only chance at justice was to take a hostage and march him downtown. An idealistic dancer packed the theater yet the city cast her out. A search for their ghosts continues beneath the city.
You’ve seen her before. She’s the old woman with her eyes closed on the bus, the one who sits alone on a bench for hours. At night she listens to the exhausted air conditioners that sound like the sea, tuning in to the city’s static like an old radio show.
The Former Desk of the First Office of the Bureau of Manufactured History was unveiled at a ceremony on the third of May and continues to appear in unexpected locations throughout Indianapolis.
I’d like to be a little beacon of joy for my father, chipper and zen and awake at six in the morning eating a piece of fruit. Instead, I stay up late reading Schopenhauer.
Disoriented veterans from several wars crowd the halls. Doctors and nurses race along the edges like ghosts, a streak of white polyester clutching a cup of coffee and a clipboard.
Look at that face with the Valentine eyebrows and pin-up girl pout, her little ribbon mouth blowing a plume of smoke like come here and give me a kiss. Nobody could smoke a cigarette like Linda Darnell
Two pitched-down dub 45s that meander through a field of mid-century blues and ballads, paired with big sheets of reverb, vinyl crackle, and five variations on the idea of a blue moon.