spectators

2003-2004

This mail art project was in response to an exhibition of what is now being called "lynching photography."

In 2002, there was a show of photographs and postcards of these community-based murders at Roth-Horowitz
Gallery in New York City.  The line to get in was around the block.  Since that exhibit, the show has moved
to other venues, including the New York Historical Society and the Warhol in Pittsburgh.

I wanted to do something that would remove the spectacle of flaming, twisted, and charred black bodies
and center the focus on the real horror of the activity - the murderers' confidence in their actions.  And I
wanted to do it in a way that did not depend on the re-presentation of black victimization.

I selected a suite of images and digitally removed the victims from the pictures, focusing on the agents of
violence.  Then, I created correspondence based in the image and had my own postcards made.  I sent these
at varying intervals to friends, artists, and anyone I thought could use one.  The first card was sent in October of
2003.  The last one was sent in June of 2004, around the time of the release of the photos from Abu Gharaib.

Since I have put the documentation of this project online, I have received requests to purchase the cards (which I
do not honor).  I also have heard from a relative of one of the people who was attacked and lynched by one of the
mobs depicted.

I returned to working with this archive of photographs in Family Pictures.