To live now is to know that the place you love will one day be gone.
I do not mean it will recede forever into a bygone mist, but that it more than likely will abruptly be replaced by a pointless exercise in capitalism. When I think about where I come from, I am forced to contemplate my inner disconnect with the replications of reality this capitalism brings.
They are not familiar, they are nothing like the people or places they interact within. They are larger and well-funded, so they become more imposing due to sheer size.
Place is not simply a building, or even a more integrated community, although that is part of it. Place is an expectation of culture continuing to evolve, not disappear. When this expectation dies, our future dies with it. If the replacement is solely a capitalistic exercise in “progress,” I am even more disillusioned.
I do not mean to say that I am nostalgic for the past; I both hate and love the South I grew up with. Most of the time I strive to forget it. But the South to me is intractable. It will always exist within me in some form or other, and influences the narratives I weave into my artwork. The place may change, but it will not completely disappear, despite outside attempts.