Michael Schnorr

(Hawaii, 1945-2012)



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Originally created for inSITE92 by San Diego artist Michael Schnorr and Swedish artist Ulf Rollof, Abandonado II was substantially expanded and renovated for inSITE94. The project was from the beginning born of the particular circumstances that describe its location. Situated on an empty lot across the street from the Pacific Ocean at Playas de Tijuana, the installation was intended to serve the numerous abandoned children who live along the border in the beach area. The installation consisted of several pieces constructed from brick and concrete, among them two pieces of fire-heated outdoor furniture, the “Fire Sofa” and “Fire Chair.” It also included a shell-like echo chamber titled Habla/Head - Cabeza/Speak and a circle of brick school desks titled “The Bricklayers’ Class.” The installation became a gathering place for locals and a playground for children.

Organizer: Installation Gallery
Venue: Playas de Tijuana

Ulf Rollof & Michael Schnorr, Abandonado II, 1994 (interview)


Titled Poggi Canyon / Cañón Poggi, Schnorr’s project addressed the proposed development of Poggi Canyon in Chula Vista and the impact it would have on the residents of neighboring communities. The artist erected four billboards with images of the canyon spaced approximately one hundred yards apart. As one would approach the canyon by car, the question “When is a Canyon Not a Canyon?”, written out over the four billboards, highlighted a development project then being considered by the Chula Vista City Council. Over the course of the exhibition, the artist gradually covered each pristine billboard image of the canyon with drawings showing the development of street systems, housing, and planned landscaping, suggesting what would happen to the natural landscape should the development be approved.

Organizer: Southwestern College
Venue: Poggi Canyon, Chula Vista