Listen to Black Women: BLM artist intervention as a gesture of solidarity
Original Statement of Work: I’ve created an intervention work as a gesture of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement that will be projected after dark on the corner of Orchard and Hester in the LES in a gallery that has been shuttered since March due to Covid-19- the work is visible from the windows and is meant to be viewed on the street. There are no profits from this work, no parts of the work are for sale or will ever be for sale. Friday after dark- a shadow projection will move through the gallery, Saturday I will dismantle and change the text and imagery, transforming the message of the projections for Saturday and Sunday night.
I have been actively listening to the demands of the movement as we collectively re-envision an antiracist world. I’ve been listening by attending protests on the streets of New York in solidarity with the movement, I attended George Floyd memorial at Cazamam square and rallied in white with Black Trans Lives Matter. This is the first step to change. 1 we imagine and 2 we take action. This is a raw and urgent Movement and we are figuring it out together. We must listen to Black people. We (white people) must speak out and know that we will make mistakes. We must do the work humbly and openly, engaging with criticism in open dialogue to reflect on ways in which we can do better. And then we collectively under the leadership of BIPOC must move forward in action.
This endeavor was done as a response and with urgency as a reflection of the BLM Movement. I have realized over the course of making it that it can be problematic in that 1) the work is installed in a commercial gallery which I have access to due to my white privilege and 2) that the message and images focus on harm done to Black people. The images and text are archetypes of the movement and placing them in a gallery is complicated and potentially fraught.
This is a raw movement and we are figuring it out together. We are collectively envisioning an antiracist world and change doesn’t happen overnight. This is why I will present the original work and dismantle the text Saturday, illuminating possibilities for change Saturday and Sunday. This is a process -and it is a time to be transparent about how we- white people- can learn in real-time how to build the antiracist future -under the leadership of BIPOC -that we are re-imagining collectively in this very moment. It is raw work and a time to be vulnerable and humble. Here we are.
I welcome you to come see and discuss, I will be there every night - mask on!- with materials on the system of racism, antiracism tools and tactics, what dismantling the police actually means and information citing source material. I welcome any and all feedback, criticisms- this is a dialogue and we are figuring it out together. I am here for it and working hard to figure out how to do better.
I encourage and welcome any discussion- publicly, privately, reach out. We must be in dialogue to learn how to do better and I hope the work is an articulation of that process. I am a white, queer artist, art is my language. I want to contribute in dialogue but also realize - BIPOC must have the lead, the power, the platform. Art is a point of entry. It is not a solution. The work that must be done by white people is uncomfortable- which in no way compares to the trauma and harm that has been inflicted on Black people in our country for 400 years. We - white people- must dig in. We cannot be silent, withdraw, deny that we have been born into a racist system that the reformation of is long overdue.
2020, Materials: paper, tape, wire, fish wire. Mostly raw materials I had on hand in reflection and necessity of the time- the pandemic and the urgency of the Movement.