A reflection on "Overlook/Underworld"
A reflection on "Overlook/Underworld"

A reflection on “Overlook/Underworld”

A reflection on "Overlook/Underworld" 1On each return home to my father’s small, cluttered apartment, I am asked to face the problem of his overstuffed closets – of all the clothes I chose to leave behind. And by the end of each visit, three piles are formed: what I will take with me, what I will get rid of, and what will stay. What will stay are all the items I can neither seem to bring with me into the present nor discard entirely.  

Each year, what is left in the apartment grows smaller and smaller. In response, my sense of what that place means to me becomes more and more packed into a handful of clothes that can’t seem to be anywhere else, stuffed full with the memories of past lives. For those without a parent’s closet, a storage space, or an extra drawer, the three piles turn into two; the individual is forced to choose between habits that can feel like hoarding and a wastefulness characteristic of late-stage capitalism.  

Located by the entrance to the Soft Power exhibition – a display of “potent contemporary declarations of resistance, resilience, love, and rebuke” –  Marc Dombrosky and Shannon Eakins’ piece Overlook/Underworld provides the viewer with a realized new option for those bits of fabric whose meaning outlives their functionality. Built from a mass of clothing sourced by Pure Vintage Clothing in Tacoma, the sculpture is a towering, colorful presentation of items saved from the cycle of waste.  

Looking up and down and through the layers of clothes, one is asked to consider all the histories within and how many more have been lost. In Overlook/Underworld, the past is not passed. Instead, the past is reckoned with and honored through our clothes and everything they can mean to us. 

– Ari Lauer-Frey, TAM Intern

Marc Dombrosky (born Wooster, Ohio, 1971)
Shannon Eakins (born Columbus, Ohio, 1976)
Overlook / Underworld, 2023
Repurposed garments
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artists