Layers & Edges

Each site is the locus of a zone of reciprocal relationships and belongings. We gather our web of relationships about us as we emplace ourselves through space, and sculpt our belonging in time.

Each GPS coordinate becomes a concomitant gathering of these linkages tingling as much with brushed interactions as with knowing intersections. What happens when something/someone/ someplace becomes that locus—what is activated? Who is implicated?

<Whereas—A Declaration of Place> was born of the impetus to investigate these questions when I was invited by Southern Exposure to create a work for an exhibition about community. Who is the community in the zone in which SoEx is the locus, in this fast-changing neighborhood caught in the sweep of urban growth? What are the belongings sculpted in this space?

These questions are posed in a 300-yard radius area centered around SoEx. It is a walkable distance: from 18th Street to 22nd Street, and from Shotwell to Hampshire Streets. In this 600 x 600 yard zone an astonishing richness of cultures and histories truly earn the term diverse. In this diversity there are many different answers to each question, each true. Together these multiple truths speak forth “—like a note from a great harp—/ and the frail wave came to our lips/ as one or two honest words.” (Antonio Machado)

I am grateful to the community for their honest words, and to StoryLab collaborators for their dedication and skill as they collected declarations and took photographs of community hands cupped around objects that speak of this place, and together we slogged through the production trenches of this thing called art.

—Rene Yung

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