NARRATOR: Kate Levant’s sculpture is made of materials she pulled from a house near her studio in Detroit, Michigan–a city that was hit especially hard by the foreclosure crisis.
KATELEVANT: The house was burned down, collapsed and abandoned. The siding was removed, and it was just sitting out, bare.
NARRATOR: Levant peeled off insulation, corrugated cardboard that was alive with insects, and other materials. She’s painted some, and made patterns across the surface of others. In some places, she’s repeatedly printed an ID photograph of her own face.
KATELEVANT: I’m talking about the layers of a home but I’m also talking about the system of a city that kind of crippled and disintegrated, and is disintegrating, but it’s still living inside of itself and kind of mutating. And so to live there and be in it and be dealing with the material of it—it’s strange to—I walk around and the neighborhood I have been living in is extremely blown out, and you wonder what that does even just to your own psychology, to be surrounded by so much broken definition. Walls are collapsed. And I can just kind of snatch a layer off of it and it’s lawless. It’s like what does that do? If you have to adjust to keep your own mentality going, and living kind of straightforwardly, you have to kind of constantly keep defining your reasoning, and your point of—you know, your path.