Backstreets Miami - Artist Statement

"There was no reason to turn into these streets,
but once you had done it,
there were many reasons to stay ."

Exhibition View, Fellows Gallery Miami, 2015

In the beginning I turned into these streets by accident, which turned into curiosity and then became purpose. I don't remember the names of these streets, but I was immediately attracted by their secrets. Movements far away you just assume, palm trees and oleander growing out of the backyards.

I watch the bare white walls shimmering in the sun, the wires like lines where you write down music above me and start to listen to their sound. Many pictures are flashing through my mind. But the bright sunlight is absorbing them all.

If you observe without purpose, you can see every small shadow, every line of a wire, every grid of a fence like a graphic sign on a white sheet of paper.

I am fascinated to follow these signs, to explore these unseen streets. First they appear all the same, but if you look closer, they are really different.

Exhibition View, Fellows Gallery Miami, 2015

The backstreets don't talk out loud. But if you take time to observe they will reward you with a quiet feeling. Everything is pure like it is, no false promises, no pretending. A line is a line. That is special.

I don't expect anything big happening. Then there is a curtain coming out of a window, a door of a car slamming into the silence, some people carrying a mirror across the street, which doubles the world behind me.

To discover the backstreets of Miami is like getting a secret gift. To turn from the main roads into the unknown streets might be like turning into a new life. You stroll along without any goal and in a switch of a moment the city is changing.

To get lost this way might be the best thing that could happen to you.
Every step is now. You are absolutely present.

© Erika Anna Schumacher, 2015