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Michael Loderstedt

March 2022

Michael Loderstedt

Michael Loderstedt, a spoken word poet and visual artist hailing from Cleveland, OH, embarks on a residency steeped in familial storytelling traditions. Beginning with poetry and prose, he weaves a narrative that culminates in a performative piece set against a backdrop of evocative photographs and small sculptures. Scheduled for April 13 to May 21, 2022, his exhibition promises a unique blend of spoken word artistry and visual storytelling.

Loderstedt draws inspiration from a quote by Henry David Thoreau - "Men go fishing, fish all their lives never knowing it is not the fish they are after." His artist statement delves into the exploration of changes in his home along the NC coast over the past 40 years. Through the amalgamation of photographs, objects, poems, and performance, he unveils the impact of overdevelopment of the land and overfishing on the once-verdant maritime ecology, now nearly barren. This transformation has displaced the regional culture with vacationers, leaving an underclass of unemployed fishermen and those affected by increased storm activity due to climate change. Loderstedt uses his art to give voice to the dispossessed, who were once his neighbors and school friends.

Infusing his narrative with an autobiographical voice, Loderstedt reflects on his gradual move to find meaning within artistic practice. Raised as an isolated child of an island, he developed resourcefulness and skills in building, which continue to support his life's work. His art becomes a reflection on the lessons learned from fishing and the value gained from times when there are no longer fish to catch. The exhibition not only serves as a visual and poetic journey through environmental changes but also as a testimony to the resilience of individuals facing the challenges of a shifting landscape.

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