On the Surface of Things
On the Surface of Things is a public project addressing the human toll of urban renewal. For the project, physical remnants of human presence were gathered from the basketball court in the St. Louis Place neighborhood over the course of two years. The community has endured neglect for decades, with 99 acres eventually being blighted—and thus forcibly removing residents, most of whom were African American—in the name of urban renewal.
As a poetic and defiant counteraction to the city’s long history of ignoring and erasing communities such as St. Louis Place, the found objects were gilded and thrown over the fence of the construction site across the street where the new $1.7 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency western headquarters is being built.
This site-specific project is featured in an essay I wrote for the edited volume The Material World of Modern Segregation: St. Louis in the Long Era of Ferguson.