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What I find compelling is the side story we are missing about the erasure of the mid-west. I think we need not look even that far from Toronto to recognize what a highway bypass does to small communities reliant on tourist travel and those that pass through. The tide of the train hangs over the work. My main case study is Rhyolite, Nevada.

We talk about the erasure of the Midwest, and it nearly always is linked to money, where opportunities dry up. Sitting as an epitaph of this is the Cook Bank in Rhyolite Nevada. It reminded me of the great colosseum. A ghost shell of a ghost town. When looking specifically at Crazy For You The centrepiece that drives our story forward is the bank and the foreclosure of the property through Mother. We have Bobby’s dreams, and dream states, but really it is this foreclosure that is the inciting incident that starts this hilarious touching story off. The bank I extrapolated into 3d as our own iconic building : creating two moving wall units that come together to recreate this sculpture. By way of this moving, repurposing, and passing through – we sift through the sand of Rhyolite, and can find some fools gold in our endearing story of double identity and love

The second reality of the Mid West, is the vastness of the sky. Using barn wood I wanted to take the striation of clouds that signal the changing of fortune. Also the forever of that horizon, empowers community. When alone in a desert, it is those around you and that sky that is left. I looked at the negative space in fallen towns. A question: How the sky made its way back to the interiors? Broken wood became a backdrop where erosion lends to the natural, another reminder that after money and industry leaves, there is always a return to balance with our environments.

Design Statement 2017, J Pagnan

Directed and Choreographed by Julie Tomaino

Set Design by Joe Pagnan

Lighting Design by Mikael Kangas

Costume Design by Ming Wong

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