Monday, April 2, 2012

In My Hood(ie):Threatening

In My Hood(ie) Post Card Series

In my studio recently I began to photograph myself wearing my grey hoodie to commemorate the national discussion of the events surrounding the shooting death of a Florida black teen, Trayvon Martin. The media storm and responses to it began to integrate visual  and audio representations. This firestorm also made other incidents like this one that occur around our nation more frequently than we want to acknowledge-more visible. Another young black male, 20 years old was shot to death-and the shooter protected under a similar citizen weapon "self-defense" law in Wisconsin called the Castle Law. This young man's name was Bo Morrison and there are questionable circumstances leading to his demise in the eyes of concerned community and family.

That said as an artist, we process this information and absorb and then reinterpret it. The day I experimented with these post card images in my studio via my mac Photo Booth, I was reflecting on a sound-bite I heard on the news. Trayvon's Martin's mother's voice in response to the turn in news stories reported about her son's innocence-was defensive and fraught with grief. The news reported that Trayvon had been expelled from school (in the past) for having a bag with "traces" of marijuana. Her response was that this information leak was an attempt to justify his killing and was a deliberate character assassination of her boy/child. I will google and post what I can find of her remarks here.

The series begins with me realizing that I can look down or up in the frame at the other images the spontaneous shutter is creating. I began to play with where I would position my eyeline and play with my own blurred image as a way to comment on perception, or a fear of a "signified and imagined #youngblackmalethreatening# Identity, of someone in a hoodie.

I will continue to work on this form and to shoot them as single frame portraits using an SLR and then photoshopping them into the 4 or more frame references that you see here in draft.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009