SHRINE OF THE COMMON & UNDIVIDED LANDS
Shrine of the Common & Undivided Lands is a memorial tribute to the bones found coiled within the uprooted Lincoln Oak Tree, and all the hundreds of other bodies buried under the New Haven Green in Connecticut.
The New Haven Museum selected seven artist [Susan Clinard, Erich Davis, Michael Quirk, Jeff Slomba, Rachael Vaters-Carr, Alison K. Walsh, and myself] to make new work to exhibit in Nothing is Set in Stone. We were asked to use the branches, limbs, or pieces of the trunk of the Lincoln Oak to respond to the history of the tree and the discoveries found beneath it.
The exhibit also features the results of the on-going archaeological analysis of the bones and materials found beneath the tree; researching the time capsule found with a variety of contents, and the inquiries into the possible identities of the skeletal remains.
[Viewers were invited to leave pennies in the copper bowl within the cement base to show respect and remembrance]
Nothing is Set in Stone: The Lincoln Oak & New Haven Green
April 30, 2014-Feb. 01, 2015
New Haven Museum, New Haven, CT
VAGARIES OF THE COMMONS EXHIBIT
Video 1 (left) – is in the first person view of someone walking around the perimeters of the New Haven Green, moving in a slow motion and with discombobulated movements where time moves like a memory from the past. I want time to be the one that guides the viewer through the land.
Video 2 (right) – begins with a African American woman standing on the Green where the Lincoln Oak Tree once stood, she then begins to dig and plant herself into the ground.
Video 3 (floor, projected onto soil) – a closeup of the woman digging and planting herself in a closeup view.
Common and Undivided Lands: Transplanting focuses on the social class and identity of the bodies found on the New Haven Green; and current social and economic divide of the city.
I collaborated with Dr. Gary Aronsen (Research Associate & Supervisor of Yale Biological Anthropology Laboratories, Yale University) on the exhibit. He spoke to the Anthropological aspect of the research of the bodies and possible background of them, and I wanted to speak to the social divide going back deep within history.
We both spoke on a panel at the Vagaries of the Commons: Closing Conference (Sept. 13, 2014) on the subject, ‘How Bones Talk: Anthropology and Mythmaking Working Together.‘ A formal and more detailed documentation on the collaboration as well as the exhibit of both Nothing is Set in Stone & Vagaries of the Commons is in progress.