In Lieu of…

An abandoned (?) African American Cultural Center mural and the empty lot behind it in St. Louis’ University City, Missouri. I’d say it was heavy-handed symbolism if I didn’t find it that way…

 

In Lieu of…
This piece is designed to serve as a metaphor for the innumerable empty promises laid at the feet of a once-subjugated minority. In building this non-building, a wooden barrier with a large, ostentatious sign reading “African American Cultural Center,” the artist references an uncomfortable truth.Not unlike the post-emancipation pledge of 40 acres and a mule, this work evokes the United States’ propensity to trade actual product or progress for the emptiness of ‘good intentions.’The wall, complete with a quintessentially multicultural mural, satirically espouses a commitment to a Center the community is unable or unwilling to construct. A microcosm of minority race and religious relations, this piece embodies both the best and worst of “mainstream” American priorities.Other “forever-under construction” projects proposed by the artist include a “Native Americans: Here’s Colorado Back” installation and a thrilling piece that “promises” to allow the Iraqi Army to invade and “liberate” Washington D.C., with the guarantee of a meager and underpowered defense from the U.S. military.