THE FORCE, A VISUAL EXPLORATION OF STATE-SANCTIONED VIOLENCE
As an African descendant living in America I am part of a group of individuals that deal with certain realities. One of those realities is today I could interact with a law enforcement officer, it could go terribly wrong, and I could die. The Force is an exhibit that tackles this topic with a visual dialogue that is accessible to all groups. But, the targeted audience are those that don’t historically have state-sanctioned violence as a daily concern.
The use of pop iconography particularly that of the Star Wars franchise is used in this exhibit as a way to make this concept more universal and open the dialogue about state-sanctioned violence. It is an attempt to engage a potentially desensitized audience in a way that breathes new life into the narrative. It poses the question. Are we living in a peace-loving democracy? Or, is the nation we love shaping itself into a ruthless empire? Because, if that is the case, surely this is a concern for all people.
I felt curating this visual narrative into the art space using the gorilla art form of street art applied directly to the walls would engage viewers in a provocative an relevant way. The restriction of color is also used to echo the polarized views that surround this topic in the public dialogue prevalent on social media.