Shonna Pryor WallPAPER of Respect
WallPAPER of Respect
WallPAPER of Respect, is inspired by a 1967 Chicago mural by the Organization of Black American Culture in celebration of Black culture leaders of the day.This work presents a customized full-gallery wallpaper installation consisting of a repeat-text pattern mined from official archived bank ledger excerpts of the Freedmen’s Bureau Bank, a defunct post civil war US government institution founded in1865, for racially segregated capital holdings. The documents list holdings of post civil war share-croppers, former slaves, and some of the very first African American entrepreneurs who managed some semblance of working wage and savings during one of the most extreme times of social duress in our American history.
The wall coverings transform the gallery into an immersive experience, which metaphorically places the viewer in a box of containment that insists on unavoidable focus, scale of presence, and nature of perpetuation as reflected in its repetitive pattern. It presents as the very structure that holds the building up.
The facts that are made visible by these selected ledgers, the details and the individuals they represent, have been excluded from historical studies in our educational institutions. The existence of these financial institutions and individuals they served is an integral historical record, which should be included in our countries historical canon. It is an integral component which would help heal our country of yet another plague threatening all humanity: the inequities of wealth distribution and wealth gap. As such, the goal of this project is to provide a window of insight into both, demonstrative resilience and perseverance of a race/class of people as well as reflect a fundamental social ill still urgently available for correction and change.