collective finds of inanimacy
2017 – ongoing
During this project, I came to understand that although I was photographing inanimate objects in Cergy, France to gain an understanding of its history, culture, and people, I wanted more insight to capture the heartbeat of the city. Upon this realization, I contacted the office of the Mayor of Cergy to converse but they were unresponsive. So, my friend organized conversations with a Cergy native and Cergy transplant from Northern France who reside in Cergy. Conversing with these Black residents, I discovered how much I had in common with them – they were also managing similar struggles of classism, racism, exoticism, and “Otherness.” The unfamiliar became familiar from an African Diaspora context, and the intrigue of the inanimate produced a global link in matters of Blackness. Thereafter, I had a better sense of how the city government, city design, and the city residents affected each other. I began to explore other methods to investigating the inanimate objects and their relationship to Cergians – through embroidery, ambient sounds, and mapping objects via the Réseau Express Régional (RER).
Inanimate objects impress their significance through their positioning, their design, the financial value, and the human labor used to birth them. These objects create a façade that manipulate an on-looker’s perception of a city, as well as influence the on-looker’s idea of whom resides in the city. Using photography as the primary medium, collective finds of inanimacy examines the inanimate objects of a French ville, Cergy, to explore its cultural and sociopolitical history. With these images, inanimate objects are personified, confronted, questioned, and labelled. What are the narratives constructed? What judgment commences? How does that affect the social interaction between resident and visitor?
collective finds of inanimacy challenges the audience to question the perception of reality that is manufactured by inanimate objects.