The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Acknowledgement, Enlightenment, and Memorialization

Acknowledgment

Acknowledgement,  2nd part of a triptych Installed for the Spoleto Festival. This  installation was built to acknowledge the contributions of African-Americans enslaved to build maintain and care for the infrastructure of many parts of the United States. This installation features images of West Africans projected onto the walls of the great dining room of the Aiken Rhett estate in Charleston, South Carolina. Deep blood red velvet drapes were fabricated  in the Victorian-style to symbolize the excessive lifestyle  slaveholders maintained on the  backs of their Negro servants. The golden rope drape ties can be seen as they lay loosened and cast aside. The blue silk sheers hung in the window are embroidered with the Ursa Major constellation which is the commonly used point of reference slaves would employ for their escape. This installation was dismantled after 3 days because of complaints from the plantation staff  describing the installation as, “disturbing.”

14' x 30'
full-size room with projections of Africans
Year Created: 
2003