09 April 2010
art: Cathedral of Junk
Since 1989, Vince Hannemann has been building his Cathedral of Junk in South Austin, and now this backyard playground packed with possibilities is under threat of being demolished. Hannemann transformed garbage into art and it might be headed back to garbage again.
I've heard of the Cathedral for years, and often seen it advertised as an "event" in the Austin Chronicle. Apparently, it's in a few Roadside Attraction books. And well, it should be.
I finally made the pilgrimage south of the river this week and caught a peek at the Cathedral. First, as a piece of garden architecture, it's phenomenal. Hannemann has created all sorts of rooms and hiding places with all sorts of junk, from CDs and keys to car seats, bikes and manhole covers.
This place is not as refined as Dr. Evermore's Forevertron in North Freedom, Wisconsin, but I think possibly inspired by the same desire and ability to find beauty in castaways.
I can see how neighbors could get tired of all the visitors, and well, how city code enforcers might not be keen with the second story access by a ladder and cobbled together with cement and who-knows-what. But, it would be sad to lose this phenomenon. And personally, I'd be super annoyed if this happened to something I'd been created in my yard.
Check out this short video that shows how the Cathedral shimmers and chimes in the warm spring breeze here in Austin, Texas (with guest appearance by Karen and Chris).