Marfa for Sale​

A Potential Narrative

Graphic Design

Installation Art

Photography

Book Design

Design Research

Conceptual Design

In the summer of 2018, I spent time in Marfa, TX for an artist residency. My project was based on the displacement of long-term residents due to the influx of newcomers and summer vacationers. This traffic is heavily derived from the art culture that has developed around the works of Donald Judd. 

 

Marfa For Sale is a series of fictional real estate signs that were placed in desolate locations of Marfa. The plotted signs reflect the potential narrative that if residents continue to be priced out of their homes, the authentic history of Marfa might one day be wiped away.

 

During my residency, I discovered that the majority of people who have lived in Marfa have been there their whole lives. Unfortunately, these residents are now moving away due to increased taxes and better opportunities outside of the city. With Marfa having a population of fewer than 2000 people, the displacement of the residents is felt on a greater magnitude. Former townies have to travel a great distance to relocate, further deepening the feeling of abandonment and the formation of a desert island. [1]

 

I exhibited this information to the public which successfully provoked conversations and inspired ideas to change this narrative. 

1. Deleuze, G., Lapoujade, D., & Taormina, M. (2004). Desert Islands: And Other Texts 1953-1974. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e). Pages: 9-14 

11x17"map made for Fieldwork Marfa / Desert Unit for Speculative Territories (DUST) Summer/Fall exhibition. 

Quirky For Sale Sign Design

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Desolate Site Installations + Contrasting Residential Homes

Marfa, TX

Hotel Paisano Exhibition

Marfa, TX

Maps

The hand0drawn maps are a micro and macro view of the transitional state of Marfa. The micro view has unclear and lines that do not connect to communicate the essence of consistent change. The macro view communicates the possible route combinations that travelers might have taken to come in or out of Marfa. This map also highlights the secluded nature of the town. 

The four maps were made with printmaking techniques in response to the printmaking era. During this time, maps were designed to be distributed to a wide range of people, thus provoking travel among the masses. The Marfa maps imply the narrative of outsiders finding and traveling to and from Marfa.

Memoirs from Marfa

The stories that once lived in the dust of the terrains have transformed since the dawn of time. As change continues to fester, unarchived histories become feathers in the wind. To avert this from happening in Marfa, I made a documentary of beloved stories from the residents. As things continue to evolve, this is a small gesture to help remember the stories that came before the new.

Mara for Sale: A Potential Narrative

With the influx of newcomers and summer vacationers, property taxes in Marfa are increasing at an expeditious rate. This is causing the town to undergo rapid changes. Due to these changes, long-term residents are being pushed out of their homes. As a symbolic representation of the topic at hand, I designed Marfa For Sale. Marfa For Sale is a series of fictional real estate signs that were placed in desolate locations of Marfa. The plotted signs reflect the potential narrative that if residents continue to be priced out of their homes, the authentic history of Marfa might one day be wiped away.

Marfa for Sale + Memiotd from Marfa

Book Contents

Amira Maruf © 2020