Falling Down, Abandoned, and Sort-Of Slightly CheesyThursday, May 17, 2007
One of the projects we're doing with the house is in the library - getting rid of books that we'll never read again. Our rule is if a book will be a good reference or has some sentimental value, or really will be read again, we'll keep it. Otherwise, we either give books to libraries or we sell them on Amazon.
I'm really-really bad about saving magazines too, so every so often I'll go through a giant pile and tear out sheets of what I want to save.
This week, I was going through a huge pile of Oxford American - my favorite magazine. One of the articles I read again was called "The United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors" - it was about a group of a few hundred people in Putnam County, Georgia whose religion is...well...to read more about their beliefs, see here.
Artistically, though, (and what I was most interested in) was how they, as the magazine put it, "...set about turning their little corner of the South into a vision of Egypt with the color schemes and impermanence of Mardi Gras floats. The garishly painted pyramids, temples, colonnades, and statues were mostly made of particle board, chicken wire, and artificial stucco."
Their leader was sent to prison and the property was seized and later sold to a developer who sometime in 2005, I think, bulldozed the whole thing - but just before, A. Scott took some *amazing* pictures of the complex. There's a slideshow that can be accessed here from the OA site that shows more pics, with audio commentary by the photographer.
At the end of the audio, the photographer says:
I love things that are falling down, I love things that are abandoned, and I love things that are sort-of slightly cheesy, and when you have 40 acres of falling-down faux-Egyptian religious iconography, it's just wonderful.
There are more pics of Nuwaubian creations here on Flickr.