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Public Collectors publication #82 is a photo booklet surveying five years of Halloween decoration documentation in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood area.

"Every year I watch as my neighbors in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood add gruesome details to their homes for Halloween. Some people are ambitious and assemble constructions that look like they took months to acquire or create, but it’s the smaller and cheaper decorations that I’m particularly drawn to: a severed finger here, a scattering of bones there, with maybe some Caution! tape, or a rubber rat chewing on a foot tossed in for good measure. Simple, strange gestures like these can heighten our attention to other overlooked additions to our built and natural environment, revealing not just someone’s Halloween play, but other details that we mighthave ignored. What else are you seeing and what are you missing?

I shot these photos over the last five years. I have lived in Avondale since 2012, but it has taken me time to feel firmly situated and committed to making creative work about my neighborhood. I like having the time to observe slowly. Being mindful of privacy, I tend to zoom in rather than photograph someone’s entire house. It was hard to choose what to include, as I have enough material for four booklets, but ultimately this is what made the cut.

I invited David Canario to write this booklet’s introduction. David also lives in Avondale. We met a little over two years ago when we found ourselves working to address the same concerns about affordable housing and aggressive development in our ward. David spends a lot of time canvassing for progressive candidates and concerns, and he’s an avid cyclist so he sees a lot when he travels through Avondale. He’s also a horror buff, making him a perfect collaborator for a project like this."

— Marc Fischer / Public Collectors
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