All the King's Horses (2009)


An installation at Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ. 2009. Salvaged material from microbreweries, steel piping, water. 10' x 17' x 10'.

Newark's historic Louis XIV-style Victorian Krueger-Scott mansion, built in 1889 by a German immigrant who made his fortune brewing beer, is the largest and most expensive home ever built in the city of Newark.  Currently in ruins, it reigns over a neighborhood once the richest and proudest in Newark, later victim to the urban decay and race riots of the '60s and '70s, and now a transitional area which includes both crack houses and gentrification.  The mansion, with a history of ownership in both the immigrant and African-American communities, has been the site of contested development, cultural and preservation goals by multiple players.

All the King's Horses, sited not far from the mansion in Newark, is constructed of material salvaged from microbreweries and embodies the incongruencies, puzzlements and fundamental fragility of the mansion's physical and metaphorical existence.  It leaves the viewer questioning whether what s/he is viewing is in the process of construction or deconstruction/collapse.  How are dreams built?  How do they die?  What happens to the very physical components from which they have been constructed?  What are our communal responsibilities toward that materiality?