Installation at Former Sara Lee Plant, Camp WashingtonPrayer Flags for Cincinnati Acrylic on found fabric 2017
Located in the Camp Washington neighborhood, this site was home to Kahn’s meat plant that helped shape Cincinnati’s “Porkopolis” identity. The Kahn’s slaughterhouse and meat processing operation was founded in 1882 and the facility, by then part of Sara Lee Co., was closed in 2006. The structures were demolished with the hopes of redevelopment, but the site has remained vacant since. There is recent development interest in the property by the owners of Rhinegeist, who wish to build a medical marijuana dispensary and potentially expand their brewing operations on the site.
Prayer Flags for Cincinnati was a collaborative project featuring the perspectives and input of local Cincinnati residents which inspired both the themes and images of the flags created as well as their locations of installation. The homemade flags are modeled after Tibetan prayer flags, traditionally hung around homes, villages, and sacred sites and are believed to ward off evil spirits and bring luck to those touched by the winds that pass through the flags. Instead of using the traditional dyed cottons and mass woodblock printing, the flags are made out of the scraps of everyday life, including clothing, doilies, handkerchiefs, napkins, tablecloths, pillowcases and curtains. Images of Cincinnati’s triumphs, the dreams of its residents and most importantly, the toughest of its struggles are hand-painted onto each fabric flag. These experiences are literalized through hand-painted imagery, emerging from the cloth as either prideful adornment or through the form of a stain on the surface of the fabric.