"𝘒𝘯π˜₯ π˜ͺ 𝘴𝘡𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘦π˜₯ 𝘰𝘯 𝘡𝘩𝘦 𝘡𝘳𝘒π˜ͺ𝘭 (𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘭π˜ͺ𝘀𝘒𝘡𝘦π˜₯ 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘡𝘸π˜ͺ𝘀𝘦)" by Joey Enriquez; Courtesy of Hamiltonian Artists

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ruined on a riverbank at Hamiltonian Artists

Joey Enriquez is a runner. It’s something they structure their days around, oftentimes taking to the trails along the Potomac River. But their jogs have yielded more than just a good workout. While spending time along the river, Enriquez became interested in the geological landscape, frequently finding random bricks scattered along the riverbank. It was this that inspired their latest exhibit, ruined on a riverbank, presented as part of Enriquez’s fellowship with Hamiltonian Artists. The exhibit consists of three sculptures made from bricks and other materials they have collected, paintings made from matter sourced from the earth, plaster brick casts, and annotated reproductions of archival technical drawings of D.C. neighborhoods. These pieces come together to paint a picture of contemporary issues in the District, such as gentrification, city identity, statehood, and architectural history. There is also a more hidden and nuanced theme: labor. β€œIt’s easy to ignore the fact that I’m out here injuring myself carrying these bricks, or that people in the recent pastβ€”incarcerated people, enslaved peopleβ€”have had to manufacture these objects,” Enriquez says. β€œThere are deeper themes of labor that are separate from the general human history of the city itself.” As for what’s exactly being ruined on the riverbank? According to Enriquez, there are many different objects of ruin. There’s the physical ruin, as the labor involved in the construction of the exhibit was exhausting. There’s the geological ruin of the bricks. And there’s the ruin of livelihood, says Enriquez. β€œThe title is referential to critical, divisive, issues happening in the city that are literally ruining people’s lives, livelihoods, business; ruining histories; ruining the fact that certain populations have existed in certain areas for centuries or decades.” ruined on a riverbank is on display through May 7 at Hamiltonian Artists, 1353 U St. NW. Free.