Wed, Mar 23|
‘Right Beyond the Site’: Otabenga Jones & the Social Practice of Belonging
Dr. Willie J. Wright Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Florida CERCL Scholar-in-Residence @ The African American Library at the Gregory School
Time & Location
Mar 23, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM CDT
About the Event
Third Ward, one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in Houston, Texas, is known for its residential demography, its political noncompliance, and its culture of arts. A onetime muse for John Biggers, and the home of Project Row Houses, Third Ward has become a hub for Black artists. In this essay, I highlight the politicized aesthetic praxis and Otabenga Jones & Associates, a collective formed in 2000. Informed by their 2014 performance, “Monuments: Right Beyond the Site,” I suggest these artists, by assuming a community-centered Black sense of place, used their art to illustrate alternative forms of development for this segment of Third Ward. By revealing the use value of public and private spaces, Otabenga Jones & Associates challenged the individualizing spatial formations that override the development traditions of long standing residents.