Jennifer Price

USA

The act of Black Listening illuminates the facets of my ethos that are specifically, culturally germane to the Black diasporic journey I’m uncovering. Relatedly, I value guiding theories like DuBois’s Double Consciousness as encouragement for developing a lyrical expression of my take on how the Black Body retains the infliction of racist legacy long after the imprints have faded. By engaging in the poetic concept of etiology/etymology, of tracing back to the causes and roots of happenings and words, I’m now exploring documentary poetics and ekphrasis as vehicles for interrogating (calling out) the white space around the Black experience.

A REDACTION IN THREE ACTS

Artist Notes

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Transcript for A Redaction in Three Acts by Jennifer Price

ARTIST’S NOTES FOR THIS PIECE

> MUSIC SCORING
Following the opening scene of the excavator, a single strike of a piano key plays throughout the entire piece, accompanying the text and images as a series of notes alternating between high and low pitch.

> STILL IMAGES
Six chief images repeat in each act of this piece and are briefly referenced alongside the voiceover transcripts below. Following are the detailed descriptions for each image:

– A heart framed color photograph image of saltine crackers stacked on a saucer next to a fork
– A circle framed color photograph of a tumbler filled with ginger ale and sitting on top a white heart shaped coaster
– A rectangle framed color close-up photo of an adult hand touching a child’s forehead, gesturing a temperature check
– A heart framed color photograph of the backside of a plush toy mouse by some cardboard scraps
– A circle framed color photograph of the molting from a lizard’s tail on top of a brick stair
– A rectangle framed color photograph of a bunch of green vines overgrowing the chalk marked concrete floor of a porch.

> MOVING IMAGES
The four videos embedded in this piece are signified and accompanied by the red ALT TEXT headings below

PRELUDE
> ALT TEXT
Moving image of a yellow excavator being used to dig up a tree in a backyard. Image is horizontally oriented and enhanced with a hazy light blue filter effect. The audio playback of an educational video plays in the background of the video capture of the excavator.

ACT 1
A white numeral 1 appears on a black background. A series of three red dots appear in succession on a light blue background.

>VOICEOVER [spoken by the artist]:
Saltines [accompanied by red text of the word]
Ginger Ale [accompanied by green text of the word]
Hand on My Forehead [accompanied by yellow text of the word]
Try to Lie Still [accompanied by a black and white photograph of an African American man posing in a graduation cap and gown]

Saltines [accompanied the image of saltine crackers]
Ginger Ale [accompanied by the image of a glass of ginger ale ]
Hand on My Forehead [accompanied by the image of the hand touching child’s forehead]
Try to Lie Still [accompanied by white text of the statement]

> ALT TEXT
Cropped moving image of a child running in circles while exclaiming, “I need a bubble to float to space! Don’t float at me, float to space!”

ACT 2
A white numeral 2 appears on a black background.

> VOICEOVER [spoken by artist]
The sound of two finger snaps [accompanied by the image of the toy mouse]
Ginger Ale [accompanied by the image of a glass of ginger ale]
Hand on My Forehead [accompanied by the image of the hand touching child’s forehead]
Try to Lie Still [accompanied by a color photograph of an African American man reposing in a hospital gown]

Saltines [accompanied the image of saltine crackers]
The sound of two finger snaps [accompanied by the image of the lizard tail]
Hand on My Forehead [accompanied by the image of the hand touching child’s forehead]
Try to Lie Still [accompanied by a color photograph of an African American man posing in white short sleeved shirt and dark trousers while standing inside the open door of a red car]

Saltines [accompanied the image of saltine crackers]
Ginger Ale [accompanied by the image of a glass of ginger ale ]
The sound of two finger snaps [accompanied by the image of the overgrown vines]
Try to Lie Still [accompanied by the image of a funeral program for an African American man with the service details whited out]

ACT 3
A white numeral 3 appears on a black background

> ALT TEXT
Moving image of the yellow excavator now being used to dig a hole near the felled tree in a backyard. Image is horizontally oriented, and heavily obscured by a hazy light blue filter effect. The audio playback of an educational video plays in the background of the video capture of the excavator.

> VOICEOVER [spoken by the artist]
False Mouse [accompanied by the image of the toy mouse marked by a red dot]
Lizard Tail [accompanied by the image of the lizard tail marked by a red dot]
Vines on the Front Porch [accompanied by the image of overgrown vines marked by a red dot]
What did I know [accompanied by black text of the statement]

> ALT TEXT
Cropped moving image of a child running in circles while exclaiming, “I’m really scared! Bubbles are coming after me!” as a bubble making machine hums and bubbles stream into the frame.

> SPECIAL THANKS
A listing of acknowledgements appears in white text on a blue background.

> CREDITS
A listing of image and audio sources appears in white text on a blue background.

> END

Jennifer Price

Jennifer Price

Biography

 

I am a Chicago born African American poet, visual artist, and librarian rooted in Georgia. My work is informed by an ethos of family violence and Southern lineage and a creative practice that embraces theory and research. The Black women who came before me, my observations as a mother, and the real and perceived threats to my family’s well being tend to inhabit the narratives in my poetry. Recently, my writing around these themes merited a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship as well as support from the Southeast Review and the Fine Arts Work Center (thanks to funding from the Cave Canem Foundation). I have had the honor of poem publication with Torch Literary Arts and the up//root collective, and my collage artwork is featured among visionary collaborators’ in the Kolaj Institute’s illustrated edition of The Awakening. From my experience within these creative communities, I am inspired to pursue the use of the image as a means of documenting the universally and personally political nature of the human condition. Because of my fascination with the relationship between word and image, I constantly seek to capitalize on the visual in some way, currently through ekphrastic writing and the creation of moving texts.

 

Invariably, I take creative pause from my late father. Born in 1931, he represents a heritage I run my finger across when scanning the Charleston, South Carolina census, routinely shocked at how short a bridge he was to the final century of Black enslavement in America. I am also heir to my father’s legacy of violence. Poet Robert Hayden blessed us with a window to the melange of bitterness and love in his seminal “Those Winter Sundays”, which implores me to use the craft of redaction–of re-memory–as a method for accommodating the pride and fear of being my father’s daughter.

Black Listening's website front page header art and Obsidian 49.2 cover art were  created by Nettrice Gaskins

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