design proposal, including plant and fence installation, architectural salvage; drawings and visualizations by Kaitlin Pomerantz
A proposed monument to the City of Philadelphia, presented to the public in Spring, 2015 for the Monument Lab project- a speculative research project curated by Ken Lum, A. Will Brown, and Paul Farber, sponsored by Pew Charitable Trust and the Penn Center for Urban Research. Pomerantz' proposed project, for WE THE WEEDS, was to insert a vacant lot into Philadelphia's Washington Square Park, and to scatter assorted architectural fixtures from decaying homes in Philadelphia. More:
Describing the motley nature of Philadelphia’s visual landscape, Kaitlin Pomerantz of WE THE WEEDS notes, “A single square block may contain traces of the Founding Fathers, a chug-along factory from the industrial heyday, blown out windows from a home abandoned during White Flight, a vacant lot consumed by nature’s forces, and the billowing of Tyvek from a rising construction project.” Inspired by SEPTA’s motto: “We’re getting there”, which Pomerantz terms “a hopeful yet eternally provisional slogan,” WE THE WEEDS’ plan calls for the artists to clear a vacant lot within the park’s lawn, and to re-site architectural features from decaying homes throughout Philadelphia (stoops and door frames, for example) within the park as objects with which visitors can interact. All inserted objects, as well as the cleared lot space, will be left untended, so that ruderal plant species (weeds) can reclaim these zones of the park. This array of insertions will create an alternative landscape within the highly manicured park that more realistically represents Philadelphia's eclectic urban space and palimpsest-like architectural and ecological history. The scattered, deconstructed lot installation also refers to the park's history as a burial ground for indigent and anonymous soldiers, African slaves, yellow fever victims and other disenfranchised members of Old Philadelphia whose bones rest below Washington Square’s neat lawn. This monument-scape seeks to honor the variety present in Philadelphia's built and natural environment and open a dialogue about its future development.