I Am From Bellevue - an installation at Open Satellite by Greg Lundgren
"I spent the first 18 years of my life in Bellevue, Washington. After graduating from high school I moved to Los Angeles in search of cultural diversity and an urban environment that fostered creativity. In 2007, Open Satellite - an exhibition space devoted to contemporary art - opened across the street from the hospital where I was born.
I Am From Bellevue is a large-scale installation that explores issues of cultural identity, the mythology of suburban life, and the unshakable influence of our youth.
The installation at Open Satellite will be constructed entirely of objects gathered from the homes of Bellevue residents. For three months I will tour through dozens of homes looking for household wears, furniture, art and everyday objects that I identify with and feel represent a link to our shared identity." - Greg Lundgren
I Am From Bellevue is Seattle artist Greg Lundgren’s investigation of suburban identity and the impact of suburbia on the artists who are born there. This spring, Lundgren, who grew up in Bellevue during the 1970s and ‘80s, visited the homes of Bellevue residents – old family friends, present business associates, and individuals who elect to open their homes to him for the purpose of his project. On these home visits, Lundgren selected and documented furniture, art, ephemera, and other objects to represent his deeply rooted impressions of the suburban Bellevue of his childhood (an environment in many ways eclipsed by contemporary Bellevue, a young city in flux).
In early July, Lundgren returned to the homes he visited to collect and transport the selected objects to Open Satellite, where he assembled them into an installation. Part anthropology and part performance, the outcome of Lundgren’s project was unknown and was determined by what he found on his home-to-home tour of the neighborhoods he frequented as a child and teenager. The installation is open to the public, offering visitors the opportunity to search for familiar items Lundgren removed from a parent’s or friend’s home – or to interact with objects and narratives intended by the artist to reflect a shared experience of Bellevue, both past and present.
Like many suburban youth reaching adulthood, Lundgren fled the sheltered, culturally homogenous landscape of his upbringing for an urban center, first Los Angeles and then Seattle, where he has lived for 15 years. Despite the proximity of his current home, the artist has not returned to Bellevue with any regularity or engaged in the activities (rituals) of a population he has identified as his suburban tribe. And as a tribe, Bellevue residents are intertwined – with Lundgren and with each other – through objects, experiences, and memories, both shared and imagined.
Greg Lundgren, a multi-disciplinary artist and designer, is the founder of Vital 5 Productions, Lundgren Monuments, and the Hideout. He is a member of the performance art group PDL. As an independent curator, Lundgren has produced over 40 exhibitions and will showcase Dada Economics at the 2009 Bumbershoot festival.