The Altar is mixed media time- based piece that attempts to understand the double conciousness that comes from being a mixed raced woman in the United States. To begin the piece, I placed every object in my bedroom that I associated with either black men or white women (the races and genders of my parents) in one corner of the room. I also placed objects that feature black women, but only through their proximity to black men and white women. I then separated the objects that focused solely on black women into a separate group.
The difference between the two collections is a clear visual representation of my life, in which the pieces of media I am subjected to and consume and the items that I value so not reflect my image or experiences as a black woman. The significance of each item being found inside my most personal space is its representativeness of my fruitless efforts to align myself with both groups growing up.
The shrine that I built in response to this exercise and then subsequently destroyed is a depiction of my father made out of wax- it represents the sacredness that I placed, and still place, on black manhood and the religious way that black women are taught to revere and then punish themselves for their inability to navigate the same spaces as black men and white women. The idol melting onto a stack of magazines featuring white women functions as a symbolic deconstruction of these ideals.