Artist Statement

'The Subject itself, identity itself, is not total. The problem with Western theories of identity is that difference is perfectly defined and delineated, which is an aggregate of differences. The marginal stamps itself in the subject, it is tolerated, but by making it explicit it is also put under surveillance. 

 

The problem is that the map of interculturality does not take into account the blind spots, the shadows, the slips and residue; a space where zero is a value.'

 

- PERIPHEREIES OF THE BODY

            Juan Ramon Medina Precioso

The Climate Justice Fight here in the U.S. and around the world is not just a fight against the [biggest] ecological crisis of all time.  It is the fight for a new economy, a new energy system, a new democracy , a new relationship to the planet and to each other, for land, water, and food sovereignty, for Indigenous rights, for human rights and dignity for all .  When climate justice wins, we win the world we want.  We can't sit this one out, not because we have too much to loose, but because we have too much to gain.                                                                      

- Miya Yoshitanti in speech during People's Climate March, New York, Sept 2012

Garden vs. Machinebrain - The Failure of our politics to keep pace with reality, the way ideology presents adaptation, new science gives us new sight about how the world works, what must follow is a new story:

self-interest, the meaning of citizenship, the nature of the economy, and the role of government.  How we conceptualize self interest, at key moments in history, has changed fundamentally - the enlightenment was one  such moment; the science of our current age is giving us another...

 

We compare and contrast these old and new stories of systems, causation and agency - the fundamental shift of this second enlightenment is from atomized individualism to networked interdependence, and this forces a new concept of self-interest.  Why "it's not my problem" is a problem and why too many people think citizenship is for suckers, both the market and the state have crowded out citizenship, reducing it to a cramped and crabby consumerism - the intellectual foundation of our old idea of citizenship is outmoded - a new basis for understanding healthy civic life, drawn from the science and reality of interdependence and contagion - citizens as gardeners...

~ Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer

The Gardens of Democracy 

ARTIST STATEMENT:

A Seattle-based, interdisciplinary artist who makes work

that engages audiences in conversations about social, environmental and racial justice.

Throughout her practice, Williams contends that the only way to shift race relations and understand climate change is through collective imaginings and re-imaginings of equitable relationships to the land, animals and resources. Williams’ aesthetic forms fall, swim, fly, drip and grow through various layers of reality, spirituality and data analysis. Her narrative installations reject the tidy, toxic logic of scarcity models, suggesting powerful alternatives in collective storytelling, collective ownership, collective re-valuing of biospecies and collective commitments to sustainable environmental practices over time.

While in residence at Seattle University Williams that created 2 dynamic art installations that included prints, paintings and sculptures made of primarily recycled or reused materials. These participatory exhibitions were free and open to the public. 

- Seattle University, Hedreen Gallery 2019

Carol earned a 4Culture Conductive Garboil Award (2018), an Artist Residency AADK Spain (2018), a 4Culture Artist Community Grant Award (2017) and was accepted to Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Public Art Boot Camp (2018). She is the owner of K-Love 4 Art, co-founder of both Race & Climate Justice Art Collective and ARTifACTS, and the Co-Executive Director at Community Arts Create. She was recently accepted in the Environmental Leadership Program, a yearlong national fellowship to support emerging leaders in environmental justice.

 

'A large body of my work deals with environmentalism, PNW conifers, old growth trees, endangered animals and climate change.

 

If according to Western ideologies, as a ‘black person’ objectified by capitalism and western ideas of ‘othering,’ then ALL of my work IS black art and comes from that identity.

 

I am that subject itself, identity itself that is not total. The problem with Western theories of identity is that difference is perfectly defined and delineated, which is an aggregate of differences.

 

The dominate culture stamps itself in me, makes me and my identity tolerated, but by making my identity as an 'African American Artist' explicit this puts me and my work under surveillance in a way that mainstream artists are not.

 

The problem is that the map of interculturality does not take into account the blind spots, the shadows, the slips and residue; a space where zero is a value.  My work is that ZERO, neither black art nor environmental art, but 'this &.' The 2 are directly related, connected as brother and sister.  Born of the same 'SYSTEM.'

 

The nature of collinizations' ‘climate change’ and ‘patriarchal paradigms,’- Both are  directly tied to a capitalist system that has raped, dismantled and left unsustainable the African American by charges of slavery, the prison industrial complex, internalized oppression, exportation of black feminine sexual exploitation and the hate of oneself.

 

The un-equitable system of capitalism has rendered portions of Africa unsustainable and left it purge to climate change. Thru the disappearance of animals relegated to endangered species lists, so too is the parallel plight of the African American, currently being displaced, gentrified, disappeared and targeted by labels of ‘felony' and 'bad.'

 

My work is interested in calling all these paradigms out to create new languages,  in relationship to old values from indigenous and old ways of seeing.  In order to bridge the gaps of what has been and what's to come we must understand both the past and the current; In 2018 America saw the first statistical poll: The 'minority' is now the 'majority' first the first time in American History.... What does this mean, when ALL of our governing systems cater to an culturally outdated methodology of difference, 'othering' and acceptance? And then we export these ideals? What can equity mean for animals, plants and natural elements (water, air, land) when these things can not speak for themselves?

 

My artwork speaks directly to ALL of these discourses, intentionally and unintentionally...through the shadows of statement, liminal space, imagery and blatant technique: My work is the sum of that zero, un-conforming & un-commodified.

Technique? I have been told by painters my large scale mono-prints are NOT paintings, yet by printmakers, that they are NOT prints...well, trying to harness my technique, is difficult and it can not be placed or labeled. The technique itself is foreign to both traditional art forms.  Currently, I am exploring ecoart methodologies, collection of community stories related to climate change, 6 degrees of separation and the 'change' model by Farouk Y Sief. 

 

My creative process has spanned more than 20 years and the work I do is not easy, it is not always accepted by the establishment and it is not always understood. I sit in the shadows, in the place of the liminal and I walk in the realm of the un-place 'able', undefined and the unaccepted.'

~ Carol Rashawnna Williams