Vacancy: Urban Interruption and Regeneration, Glass Curtain Gallery, Columbia College
Harriet’s Refuge: A Safe Passage for Free Movement in Public Space
This project is decidedly for and about black women’s right to safely occupy public outdoor space(s). The project builds from the overlap in the artists, Tatyana Ali and Amanda Williams' respective practices of making (unsanctioned) marks on vacant and abandoned spaces (Fazlalizadeh’s Stop Telling Women to Smile and Williams’ Color(ed) Theory). The artists used their Vacancy collaboration to address the complicated roles gender and race play in urban space and aim to extend the individual concerns and strategies they each employ regarding vacancy and its impact upon women moving in cities. They created a full scale, transportable architectural structure that was temporarily deployed on empty lots around the city, allowing for moments of refuge, contemplation and dreaming as related to the needs and experiences of black women. The final object and its video and photographic documentation were on display in the gallery.