Activism and Social Change
Warning this may trigger debate, an extension of Rituals of Commemoration, 2014-ongoing
The genesis of this project was ignited when Michael Brown was killed in August of 2014 and the documentation of murdered lives continues.
This is an invitation for viewers to participate in a project that features reflection, social interaction, objects and action. With this project, I am interested in creating work that is indelible to the conversations taking place across the United States regarding police brutality, systematic racism, inequality, poverty, and the school to prison pipeline.
Rather than taking a “this too will pass” attitude, the Rituals of Commemoration project documents the lives of Black men and women killed by police or security guards since 1979, 292 lives to date, recording each name and date killed. This interactive “counter-monument” is intended to provoke encounters and create an on-site action that marks the killings today.
It asks the biggest and most provocative question ---
Can WE, can YOU be neutral in all of this?
What is the value, if any, of remaining silent?
Made up of 25 (to date), concrete blocks that measure 12W x 8H x 5D inches and weigh 25 lbs. each, shaped reminiscent of an inverted half-pyramid, topped by a corona painted in rich charcoal black and shimmering gold, with letters that spell out the names and dates of the deceased individuals. Participants’ willingness to take a photograph carrying the weight of this object is a symbolic act of affirmation of memory, of the senseless lives lost, defending it, and giving it form through action.