My work explores questions of space, public policies, inclusion, exclusion, and privilege. From urban, to suburban, to rural, I explore the social dynamics of people and the spaces they inhabit. I construct institutional critiques by imposing my life-size figures in public places. These works highlight unseen policies and ideologies that drive our society. My social interventions seek to make conscious the unnoticed consequences of urban design and invite the public to renegotiate the purpose of space and their place within it.
Prescriptive Space is a temporary public installation of ceramic figures on divided city benches, which were designed to prohibit homeless people from sleeping. The bisections of the figures not only highlight the handrails but also contain information related to Gainesville’s history of public policy and movement of marginalized people. The public installation exists as video documentation of interactions between the ceramic figures and the public at three city benches, capturing moments of discovery, discussion, humor, aggression, and compassion.
Bo Diddley Plaza is the centrally located public space in the city of Gainesville, Florida and the namesake of the video documenting the installation of a figure in the plaza bus stop. The bus stop is considered a throughway and cannot be confined to closing hours; therefore, the police cannot legally prevent the homeless from congregating and sleeping. Instead of addressing the growing issue of homelessness, the city redesigned the park and moved the bus stop. By redesigning the space, they were removing the appearance of the problem and relocating the people. The video documented how the figure occupied that liminal and transitional space before the redevelopment.
Motion-sensor cameras are used to unobtrusively document the ways the public interacts with my figures. The splintered narrative presents the disjointed relationship between the general public, policy, and the organization of social space. The hidden camera acts as surveillance to the unaware, and a stage for the theatrical performance for those living in that space. The knowledge of the camera shifts social power dynamics of that space even if only perceived power. My work engages the public in a conversation about how the spaces they inhabit unconsciously shape them, and how they in turn have power to intentionally shape them.
IMAGE: Charity White. Prescriptive Series: SW 5th Ave. and SW 13th St, 2016. Video still, ceramic installation.