elaine longtemps america homeland
FLINT, Hand-painted, forcefully twisted rope, Liquitex polymer, metal pipe, digital printing on fabric 8.5" x 29" x 65"
This sculpture was inspired by the disastrous political decision to save money by switching the water supply for the city of Flint, Michigan from the Detroit River to the polluted Flint River. Warnings were ignored despite the putrid color and taste of the water like rotting fish or gasoline. By the time the EPA stepped in, 8,000 children were diagnosed with lead poisoning. The effects of lead in the body are massive and devastating. The central portion of my sculpture has a rusty pipe going through it. The rope is FLINT, it is LEAD, it is also a BRAIN. The red and yellow painted on the rope is the color that shows up in an MRI of a lead-damaged brain. Going into the pipe from one side, I have dirty bluish-greenish strips of digitally printed fabric symbolizing the polluted Flint River. Coming out of the other side in shades of rusty, pale orange, and sick yellow, the colors of the water as people described it. The story of Flint is printed on the fabric.
Photography by Paul Takeuchi