July 19 - October 2, 2021
- 6:30 am to 8:25 am
Desai | Matta Gallery
I grew up on a street that abruptly ended in a greenish blockade of hedges.
Not a cul-de-sac, that would allude to something more generous and whimsical
than this bit of earth. Ours was a dead-end. I grew up in a place where these dead-ends,
which not-so-cleverly disguised the borders of a segregated city,
were so frequent and unremarkable that
I cannot remember if there was a sign to warn off the occasional stranger.
This is a place that I know well.
In Chronotopophobias artist Tia-Simone Gardner explores the landscapes of her childhood in Fairfield, Alabama. Drawing on historical images, still photos pulled from drone footage, and documents and recreations of the man-made natural barriers, Gardner invites us into an all-white town on which rose a nearly all-Black town compacting the same soil, sameness and not sameness. She invites us to contemplate the design of space across scales and state lines and histories. Whose bodies are subject to control in the landscape? Whose have the right to linger on our streets? The high berms that divide Palestinian communities from Jewish settlements, the raised metal strips that divide a bench into thirds in the Tenderloin lest one of our neighbors seek to lay down, or the double row of trees of a greenwashed racial barrier in Fairfield: These design elements are not created by chance.