Objects of Transparency

Since 2016 I have been taking a critical look at my own habits (and those of my Black community) in public space, and specifically in spaces that feel exclusive or unwelcoming. In “Performing Spatial Justice” I use personal accounts and interviews with friends to design a series of interventions that range from the scale of the object to the street corner. The work that resulted is not a set of solutions, but rather a performance of the way that people of color have always been expected to bear the burden of surviving in landscapes that were constructed to exploit and subordinate us. The three body-scale “wearables” from this series act as more than just ornament. I call them “Objects of Transparency” because black and brown people are so often willing to make ourselves (our personal histories, our belongings and our intentions) painfully transparent… in order to avoid the misreading of our presence as a threat. For example, sewing transparent pockets onto my pants externalizes my brother’s deeply embedded fear that everybody suspects he’s pocketing something.

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