PHOTOGRAPHY > Badwater, 2016

Badwater (detail)
Badwater (detail)

This photo collage documents a day long process of setting up ten different tombstone-shaped concrete paintings at Badwater, Death Valley; the lowest land elevation in the contiguous United States.

(The ten paintings can be found in the "Paintings" section of this site, under "Ghost Windows".)

I started the day by grouping the ten paintings in the lower rights section of this collage. I photographed them, and some of the surrounding landscape, then I moved them to a adjacent location to the left. I repeated this process all day, to make as many tombstones as possible. After developing the images into 4" x 6" c-prints, I puzzle pieced them together to create the full landscape.

For me, this event represented an imaginary and temporal memorial/monument to an evolving system of oppression in the United States: the institution of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, mass incarceration, and the current struggle to protect Black bodies.