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The Mall Apartment

The Mall Apartment

Have you heard about the Providence group of artists who transformed unused space in Providence Place Mall into an apartment? The area was used to store materials while the mall was under construction from 1997-1999. After its completion near the end of ‘03, the space was abandoned. That’s when the gutsy collective went to work surreptitiously moving in about 2 tons of constructions materials, which included 90 30-pound cinder blocks to build a wall to disguise the space. A beige, utilitarian industrial door was used as a means of entry. For furnishings they hauled in a sofa and love seat, table and chairs, lamps, throw rugs, hutch and a T.V. During the nearly four years the artists ‘occupied’ the space, they used it as anyone would a regular apartment, doing those things we all do every day...except go to the bathroom, as the apartment had no running water. Thus the artists ‘lived’ until earlier this spring when one of them, Michael Townsend, was spotted leaving the secret space. Mall security wasn’t pleased, to say the least. On Townsend’s website trummerkind.com (German for ‘children of the ruins’), he says that the Mall Apartment wasn’t meant to be specifically an art piece, but a little home away from home as well as a means to ‘understand the mall more and life as a shopper.’ For further reading regarding the Mall Apartment, check out this article on lotsofnoise.com as well as Townsend’s site.

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