Parasite, an origin: the story of the artist who lived for years in a secret room in a shopping center – News

In the early 2000s, artist Michael Townsend had a similar experience to the intruder who inhabited the luxurious mansion depicted in the film. Parasite (2019). However, instead of a house, the young man chose to sneak into the secret room of a shopping center in the city of Providence, Rhode Island (USA).

According to the tabloid Daily Star, Michael discovered the camouflaged space during his daily run in 1999. However, it was not until 2003 that the artist received the incentive to complete the project to create an address on the site.

“During the 2003-2004 Christmas season, radio advertisements for Providence Place Mall [nome do shopping] featured an enthusiastic female voice saying how great it would be if we could live in the mall,” Michael explained in a post on a personal website. “The central theme was that the mall not only provided a rich shopping experience, but also had everything one would need to survive and lead a healthy life.”

While checking the space identified years ago, he found that it was still disused, which encouraged him to set up some kind of apartment there and call seven other friends: “The new plan wasn’t just about living in the mall for a week,” he wrote. “Now it was just living in the mall.”

According to NBC, the site was 750 square meters and the new residents built a concrete wall and a common service door, to hide the area from outside view. Over the course of four years, among the various items taken there, “the apartment” included a sofa, a dresser and even a Playstation 2 – stolen after an invasion.

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What was really missing was running water – but that ended up being made up for by using the mall’s own toilets.

The project only ended when security guards found the hiding place – including, they were accused by the residents of the aforementioned break-in and theft. Michael and his ex-wife took responsibility for the deed and saved the rest of the gang.

They were convicted in 2007 of trespassing and banned from the facility for life. The sentence was served on parole. Still, a mall spokesperson at the time expressed admiration for the proposal: “I was surprised by what it was able to accomplish,” he told NBC. “But what he did was clearly criminal. The mall is private property.”

Despite the consequences, the experience was a failure: “I would really like to be able to go back there”, wished the artist, as reported by the Daily Star. For more story details, YouTube channel Be Amazed did a re-enactment of Michael’s project. To access, click here.

The family then discovers a young man in love living in the attic of the house where they live. Check!

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