Thursday, 24 March 2011

Off The Wall...We Revisit Artist George Rahme in his Home Town

Detroit, Michigan - On Its Way Back!

We interviewed artist George Rahme a few months ago about his work and aspirations.

Today we delve deeper into the place he lives, a place that once was the economic hub of the United States, a prosperous place, a place of fortune. Now with prosperity behind it and the city scape falling further into disrepair, there maybe no way of regaining its decadent past...but wait, there is a flicker of hope on the horizon and thanks to George and other artists in the area things are looking bright...

RD: Hey George your an artist living in Detroit, can you give us a view of how Detroit was and how it is now please?

It is, step by step, gentrifying down Woodward and Michigan Ave. Only in some areas. With only a few investors purchasing lots of property.Eastern Market and Downtown are also receiving lots of attention. Much of its interesting music culture is still around, though there is a large wave of
designers, film teams, and artists emerging, therefore it will be inevitable that things will improve here, to some degree. What will happen to the music industry here is uncertain. For the longest time it was a city to yourself.

RD: We have seen some images of top quality buildings in ruins, could you describe the impact this dereliction has had on the people of the Detroit area?

I'm sure run down buildings effect each person differently. Some are struck emotionally,
others have been born surrounded by them. Not sure what you mean about top quality. It's the consequence of some very important issues that every place has or once will face. This question has a lot more conversations and opinions that can be expanded upon.

RD: Having been in a video and collaborated on some excellent footage in the Railway Station and surrounding area, have you guys got any more plans to bring us more images?

As of now I am uncertain whether or not the Danes will be back, but possibly they will attract another group.

RD: Which buildings or areas where you live, gives you the most inspiration and do you feel safe wandering around these areas?

I am most fascinated by how this place functions systematically as a whole. I never just wander places unless I am with visitors. Much of my time in the abandonment aspect of the city was spent during the techno music scene when there was an event or purpose. I did however do some installation and documentation work in a lot of abandon houses during my undergrad years. The biggest thrill is in the abandon homes. I have worse
confrontations in the suburbs.

RD: Could you describe what the original interior of the Railway Station was like?

Similar to Grand Central Station, but many more floors and larger, also they may be the same

RD: Is there a lot of Graffiti there, or are people that live outside the city reluctant to venture into the area?

People in the city, suburbs, and all over the country and world, come here to graffiti! There is more graffiti here than any American city. It's a distinct graffiti. Tags from early days that most cities would have washed out by now. For example my good friend Michael Anderson, born in the Bronx, considered this place to have the graffiti museum, which is still in the works.

RD: What is the most haunting image that sticks in your mind?

I'm not really haunted by this place. I have far more evil and haunting memories outside
Detroit. It's all about ones charisma. You cant just be here and be cool. We all have a sense of purpose.

RD: Not wanting to paint a bleak picture of the area, could you fill us in on the positives- we have heard about Powerhouse productions which supports artists for instance?

We all help each other here. It's community based, and not a competition to see who has the strongest CV. What is bleak is only ones imagination, meaning you can make this place what you want of it. A more accurate pictorial investigation would be raw, instead of bleak. There is more power and energy here than most places I have ventured in the world. I am still here.

RD: Your an inspiration to all of us here at The Collective George, keep up the great work you
guys are doing out there

George Rahme view...ON
Detroit Arts Projects... The
Power House Productions...Button

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