— Adler Guerrier

Untitled(Overtown North)

Seven 11 by 14 inches Chromogenic prints.
Metro Pictures, April 8 to July 31, 2006. The Moore Space.
(Alternate exhibition copy – frame size 7.25 by 10.5 inches)
Adler Guerrier : Formulating a Plot, August 7, 2014 to January 25, 2015. Pérez Art Museum Miami

The work is made in 2006, when my studio was in Wynwood. For Untitled(Overtown North), I went on a flaneurie in Wynwood, away from my familiar landmarks (art venues – Locust Projects, Dorsch Gallery, Snitzer Gallery) towards Overtown, the black neighborhood most important to Miami’s history.

The images were photographed on blocks that were being reclaimed from their light industrial-warehouse usage and from being too close to Overtown. The early-00s profile of Overtown featured reference to it being historical, often phrased as “once-a-thriving-neighborhood” but also listed most of its shortcomings– open drugs sell and usage, homelessness, crime, poor and black.

The images depict scenes lit via street lamps against dark sky. Darkness is ominous and present in these images. The lighting is reactionary and defensive. The figure standing barely within the cone of a streetlamp can be read as a claimant in this neighborhood reappraisal project.

The title of the work refers to the geographical location of Wynwood, being north of Overtown, and for most Miamians(this was before the graffiti) the warehouse area just north of 20ht Street, where there seems to be a few art galleries, is Overtown.

The sequence of seven images offers an alienated narrative on a hardened stage, municipally dressed in the structurally practical props of light posts, electrical posts, electrical sub-station, unadorned walls, concrete sidewalks and asphalt streets. Untitled(Overtown North) is composed of moments, one might, perceived to be off-stage to another more important and distant story. The lit spaces in the photos are in service of objects found mostly outside of the photo’s frame. The presence of a claimant-flaneur works to reflect the interests of persons connected to this narrative in time and in space.

Text is indebted to Huey Copeland and Diana Nawi.