The Cathedral of Junk stands quietly in the backyard of a small house on a suburban street on the south side of Austin. Unlike other busybody constructions that I’ve visited! He estimates that it now contains over 60 tons of junk!!
The man who built it, Vince Hannemann, is similarly unassuming. He didn’t build the Cathedral to get attention. Although he’s been dubbed a “yardist” by the local art community, he’s a very down-to-earth guy who harbors no illusions about the significance of his creation. “I just did it because it was kinda cool,” he tells us. “It’s my clubhouse. It’s fun. Kids, when they come through, they know what it is.”
The Cathedral is a hollow framework of improvised trusses, around and within which Vince has wired and packed all manner of mass-production cast-offs: lawnmower wheels, car bumpers, kitchen utensils, ladders, cables, bottles, circuit boards, bicycle parts, brick-a-brack, and a lot of stuff that is frankly unidentifiable.
Unlike medieval cathedrals, whose construction often spanned several generations, the Cathedral of Junk will be finished well within Vince Hannemann’s lifetime.
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