Catherine Opie

Skyways & Icehouses

When the Walker Art Center invited Catherine Opie to be an artist-in-residence, she immediately knew that she wanted to continue her investigation of American cites by photographing two vernacular architectural elements particular to the Twin Cities: ice-fishing houses and the downtown skyways. In two beautiful and haunting series, she captured not only the idiosyncrasies of each, but the psychological charge that these elements add to the Upper Midwestern landscape. To complement her photographs, Opie called for real-life stories, anecdotes, and poems from local residents who enliven those spaces every day and every winter. By turns funny, poignant, nostalgic, and revelatory of the manifold narratives that animate the Twin Cities, the seventy-six submissions she received from mostly nonprofessional writers cut across a wide demographic range yet shared a geographically defined experience. The writers’ topics included being lost in a maze, a flying frozen fish, floating above Hennepin Avenue, a dancing fiddler, memories of Grandpa, echoes of Venice in Minneapolis, love in the sky, and an ice-fishing spirit. . . .


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