Photo: Dean Carpenter
Here is the fourth lyric video from IN THESE BOXES. This is actually the beginning of the piece. So, in a more perfect world, it would have been the first video I uploaded, not the fourth. But life is messy. Art is messier.
"When I was 19, I moved from Kentucky to New York’s East Village. And I began to see something on the street I didn’t understand.
I’d see boxes, full of the contents of someone’s entire life, stuffed in the garbage cans of tenement apartment buildings. Boxes full of things, like a twenty year collection of playbills, black leather harnesses and unframed paintings, posters, clothes still on their hangers, handwritten letters and spiral notebooks and bills and the odd objects that could only be someone's mementos. All of it, stuffed into the garbage. I saw this over and over again.
Then years passed. And in the summer of 1991, my two ex-lovers died within three months of each. And this was bad, of course, but it was something else that had my attention.
I realized that all the people who had witnessed our lives together were also dead. These were the Plague Years, and my life had just become extinct.
And I finally understood about those boxes in the garbage: people had died of AIDS, their families had abandoned them, and their friends were all dead. The objects I still owned were the only evidence that we had existed. I alone knew the stories inside them. And I wanted to reach back through time, into that garbage, into those boxes, and save the objects and find a way to tease out their missing stories. To keep them from disappearing."
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