Fridley Stories

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Fridley Stories is an installation culminating from a studio residency at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in Fridley, Minnesota, a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis. In the installation, the stories, hopes and fears of Fridley residents present not just a snapshot of their own town, but a reflection of US suburbs in a time of demographic changes.

Interviews with over 20 Fridley residents formed the basis of the installation. When a doorbell is pressed, architectural models of the “rambler”-style houses typical of Fridley play excerpts from the interviews. Each house features a different theme: reasons for moving to Fridley, economic and racial diversity, relationships with neighbors, crime and safety, Fridley’s image and reputation and hopes for Fridley’s future.

The “Coded Texts” present statements from interviews in a consciously obscured manner, reflecting the subtextual racism and classism of the comments.

Taken together, these excerpts offer perspectives that complement and contradict one another, revealing concerns about aging in place, anxiety about demographic shifts, the enduring appeal of the suburban lifestyle and longing for greater sense of community.

The “library” presents research materials as well as materials from the story-gathering process.