January 16 – March 6, 2016
This body of work explores abstraction in lens-based media and the embodiment of history in the present. The project departed from the discovery of a set of five documents in the Florida State Archives–four black and white photographs by an unknown photographer dated June 25, 1964, and one black and white film made by the Florida State Highway Patrol. These documents imaged “wade-in” protests over beach segregation in the summer of 1964 in St. Augustine, preceding and ended by the passage of the Civil Rights Act on July 2. While the urban protests in St. Augustine of that summer are well-studied within the history of the American Civil Rights Movement, the beach desegregation protests and “riots” of the same campaign are less well-known, and remain largely lost to popular memory.
There is interference in accessing and representing this material. The body of work uses varied representation strategies to reflect on the types of mediation that we encounter in approaching history, the constructedness of cultural delineations of space and time, and the peculiar biases of film-based media.
IMAGE: Julia Brown, The Swim, 2013. Digital inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist