Dimensions: canvas: 41 x 41 x 2 1/4 in. (104.1 x 104.1 x 5.7 cm)
Medium: book remnants sewn on canvas
Credit Line: Elisabeth Claire Lahti Fund purchase
Label Text: The raw materials of Samuel Levi Jones's work—encyclopedias and law books—are library discards. Jones considers how these revered, authoritative texts also perpetuate cultural biases. They reinforce certain histories and “truths” while excluding other narratives. After Jones noted that African Americans were largely absent from a printed encyclopedia, he began to tear apart and rebuild the volumes into sculptural “paintings” that represented a new order—a process he called “carthartic.”
"Kristiana" is a critique of existing systems of power and authority in our society. Using discarded legal records, Jones addresses his frustration with law enforcement and the legal system. Kristiana is the name of a teenage girl who approached a Texas police station in January 2015—seeking help—and was fatally shot by officers. This work and others by Jones reference tragic incidents involving excessive use of force by police.
Object Number: 2016.18
Currently on view