Latitudes is a series of modular drawings/installations engaged with the convention of writing and the inherent tension between what is included and excluded in historical texts and analysis. Considering that the written word developed as the capacity of human memory deteriorated situates these portraits as a kind of compilation of records that calls into question the objectivity of historical texts. I see the installation of these works as creating a kind of library, even an institution, which animates a particular history relevant to the subject of the portraits. When fully assembled they create panoramic wall installations the feel cinematic and immersive. Unassembled, they exist as loose-leaf books. The title Latitudes associates the panoramic format of the drawings with mapping in the way that they would spread along a horizontal axis. It also references its alternative definition as having “freedom from normal restraints or regulations” due to its potential to exist unrestricted by spatial limitations.
Study for Latitudes is the first in the series that looks specifically at the history of contemporary art in America. It is a self portrait rendered by writing excepts from art historical survey books that reference Black artists, regardless of genre. By responding to the racial lens that is often cast on artists of color, this piece situates my own practice in within this context. There are a total of 165 pages, each measuring 10x10" The overall size when fully installed is 9'2" x 12' (2.8 x 3.8 m). For the installation, I made wooden pedestals to display the stack of texts that were not displayed on the wall. The excerpts primarily come from Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being (2000), by Jonathan Fineberg and American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America (1997), by Robert Hughes.