Georgetown Is Not What It Once Was, Says Artist Marq Dean Via Projection Bomb on Sabey Building

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Produced in conjunction with the 8th annual Georgetown Haunted History Tour, Spectrecle is described as "a chilling display of experimental art installations."

And, especially in current-day Georgetown, what could be more chilling than change and gentrification?

That's one of the many messages that can be taken from Marq Dean's contribution to the show - a "projection-bomb" light installation that illuminates the message "We are not what we once were" on the Sabey-owned former Rainier brewery in Georgetown.

Here's a photo of Dean's work:

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Marq Dean

While Sabey's purchase of the old Rainier brewery in Georgetown, and what the company might do with the property, has been the source of much contention and debate amongst the area's concerned citizens and creative types, Dean says his message - which he wants left open to personal interpretation - goes beyond any Sabey-related controversy.

"It's just this idea I've had for a long time, just this phrase. I've spent a lot of time in Georgetown, did a lot of work in Georgetown, and I've seen it change a lot," says Dean. "I know [Georgetown] changed before we got there, from whatever it was before, and then this group of artists and creatives came in and kind of made it into what it is now. And now it's turning into something else.

"It's just about the idea of how we change, and how things change."

A self-described "Georgetown booster" and former longtime resident, Dean says some of his inspiration for the projection bomb comes from the artistic work of Jenny Holzer, and some simply comes from the artists and galleries in the neighborhood he sees losing their spaces in the name of progress.

"Ten years ago, Georgetown was a little bit more Wild West, there was a lot more freedom, and a lot more ability to affect change and kind of create your own place in the world, and now it feels like a different place than it did 10 years ago. I'm sure the people that were here 10 years before that would say the same thing," says Dean.

"[The projection bomb installation] is just a meditation on change, good or bad. ... When you think about gentrification, the price of admission is going up."

As part of Spectrecle, Dean's message will be on display tonight and tomorrow night, from 6-11 p.m. You can find more info on Spectrecle and the Georgetown Haunted History Tour here.

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