Color(ed) Theory Series
Color(ed) Theory, explores how academic and theoretical definitions of color map across veiled language used in American media/popular culture to describe racially charged city spaces. What color is urban? What color is Gentrification? What color is privilege? What color is poverty? As a search for answers, I’ve been painting abandoned houses on Chicago’s South Side using a palette of culturally coded, monochromatic colors. Think a female Gordon Matta-Clark parading around as a Black Josef Albers! Colors are extracted from buildings and products that are frequent urban fixtures—Currency Exchange, Flamin' Red Hots, Ultrasheen Grease. This palette combines my Ivy League academic training as an architect with my lived sensibility as a South Side native. I’m working on a system that imagines artful ways to construct new narratives about zero value landscapes that will allow them to shed an identity of victim and embrace instead the role of active protagonist.