Sunday, October 12, 2008

Leaving Your Impression: Finding Common Ground (2007)

Together with the affordable housing community residents of Terracina Gold Apartments, Sacramento, CA, I made inked prints of one of their fingers. The fingerprint was used as an image signifying something that everyone in the community had in common. I made enlarged laser-cut stencils of their fingerprints. The residents then stenciled their prints with fluorescent paint to represent this community’s ‘collective fingerprint’. This project was sponsored by LifeSTEPS, a provider of social services for affordable housing communities in California.

The court site, adjacent to the small community center, was originally built as a small basketball court to be used by the residents. In 2004, the property management became concerned that, as a basketball court, it was attracting what they identified as youth gang-related activity. Before discussing their concerns with the Terracina residents, the management removed the basketball pole. When I began working with the residents on possible community-based art projects, they expressed feeling both demoralized and disenfranchised in part by this unilateral ‘decommissioning’. They reported that they did not use this space other than for events annually staged by the property management.

No comments: