Wednesday, August 17, 2011

living for the city

An existing space may outlive its original purpose and the raison d’etre which determines its forms, functions, and structures; it may thus in a sense become vacant, and susceptible of being diverted, reappropriated and put to a use quite different from its initial one.
Henri Lefebvre (1901 -1991) sociologist, philosopher, urbanist


wall wednesday continues.....

today's wall is found on a building being re-purposed in the detroit-shoreway neighborhood of cleveland. although i'm curious as to the future use of the space, i'm even more curious about learning who is behind the selection of the wonderful quote from iconoclastic french philoshopher lefebyre's groundbreaking work the the production of space.

i wonder if the pink rhino is a nod toward ionesco's absurdist play rhinocéros? the building after all is just a few blocks west of cleveland public theatre - and this whole area of cleveland is charged with creative energy! then again sometimes a rhino is just a rhino.




stevie wonder first released his song living for the city in 1973 on his album innervisions. it quickly became a hit reaching #8 on the pop charts and #1 on the r&b chart. rolling stone ranks the song #104 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

in 1975 ray charles recorded living for the city for his album renaissance - charles substituted a different spoken interlude which addresses the extremes of living in abject poverty. wonder was so moved by charles' commentary that the two of them performed the version for a 1991 television tribute to ray charles entitled 50 years of music making: a tribute to ray charles - somebod uploaded this performance on youtube a few years back (i'm glad he did! thanks somebod!!)


6 comments:

Betty said...

The pink rhino is rather wonderful.

Linda said...

Yeah, I like the pink rhino also. It's sad to see old building boarded up like that.

Steve Reed said...

I love that rhino! The idea of repurposing space doesn't seem all that revolutionary now, but maybe when LeFebvre made that observation it was a new(ish) idea.

Martin H. said...

Thanks for sharing the rhino. It's wonderful.

Alan Burnett said...

Why don't we have walls like that? The only painted walls you see over here tend to carry messages of hate rather than hope.

Gary said...

Kimy - I drove to Warren, Ohio on Tuesday and saw that you were only another 79 miles further. I was tempted to give you a call and see what you were doing but decided I had better get home again, home again jiggity jig. xo