Saturday, January 03, 2009

Gone are the days..

Image from Fish Kill Flea, via
The holiday season just finished was festooned with news of economic lamentation and foreboding financial ruin forced by the media into our beings from both ends. Though the Grinchy tenor of current events had little effect on the squishy joys of spending time with beloved fam and friends it might have made some nostalgic for Christmases of yesteryear when they indulged, with unworried ease, the season's sweetest joy; shopping.

Brooklyn based photographer Jennifer Loeber captures the wonderous commercial exchange of yore, in a series of portraits from the now defunct Flea Market which inhabited the Dutchess Mall at Rte. 9 and I 84 in Fishkill. Loeber along with Aaron Hillis and Brian Cassidy produced a documentary film on the subject called Fish Kill Flea.
I came across the project earlier in the year via a post on Loeber's work on Lisa Hunter's Intrepid Art Collector blog. Lisa posted an image by Loeber of a female nude draped acrooss the arm of a sofa. The image is part of a series of portraits of Brooklynites in the buff called Zeig Mal (Show Me). Such are the ways of the internet that noteworthy projects of local relevance are discovered through investigations prompted by pictures of naked ladies (at least that's my method). Unfortunately, the Fishkill Flea portfolio is no longer on Loeber's site, so you don't have anything to look at....but at least you know it exists. I emailed the filmakers about the possibility of a local sceening or photo exhibit, but I've not received a response.
A good flea market is like a carnival rolling into town on a weekly basis. The Fishkill Flea Market had a very particular character and it embodied the spirit of a citizenry living among the ruins of previous prosperity. This spirit of inhabiting forgotten spaces, reclaiming them is becoming ever more relevant with the prospective failure of retailers, potentially leaving vacant buildings and shopping malls dormant. If only the Fishkill Flea could have avoided being ousted by Home Depot just a wee bit longer, it could have garnered new currency.
Related Items: This slideshow features the reuse of big box stores which are also featured in the book Big Box Reuse by Julia Christensen
Beacon's cache of pre-big box boxes ripe for some form of reuse will undoubtedly sit untouched, locked up even longer in these recessive times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, The Dutchess Mall site is home to once was the REV-WAR military city known as the Fishkill Supply Depot. Critical features of the site are still probably under the black top of the old mall site. I hope you have a look at my blog,
I discuss the site in posts over the summer. That whole area that fans out from the Dutchess Mall and crosses Route 9 is part of once was this fascinating part of our collective history.