Anya Sirota (Akoaki), Geoffrey Thün + Kathy Velikov (RVTR)
Farish Street Landing Ugly Vegetable Garden.
Jackson, MS, 2020
Collaborator: Jean Louis Farges (Akoaki)
Assistant Team: Liz Feltz, Nate Doud (Doud Designs), Lucas Denit, Joshua
Krell, Linda Lee, Abirami Manivannan
Curators: Travis Crabtree, Salam Rida (Carbon Office)
Partner: City of Jackson, MS
Sponsor: "Fertile Ground" Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge
Farish Street Landing is an ephemeral intervention motivated by a simple inquiry: how can the cultural narratives of place contribute to activating an inclusive, vivacious and contextually rooted collective environment? Sited in one of Mississippi’s most legacied African American neighborhoods, the project turns to the local landscape and its vegetal histories for insight and inspiration.
The resulting spatial exploration, equal parts scenographic chronicle and urban prompt, deploys a series of props, symbols, and agricultural archipelagos as narrative mediums to instigate dialogue around the layered and ever-transforming relationships between the region’s people and plants. Cultivated staples, medicinal herbs, feral shrubs, and native grasses commingle in reference to Choctaw Nation, Republic of New Afrika, and European settler farming traditions and the ecosystems that sustain them. A provocation rather than a resolution, Farish Street Landing is an imaginary space of arrival and departure, of restoration and projection. Contingent on public appropriation, it invites local residents, artists, and activists to weigh in on the district’s possible future.
On-site installation delayed due to Covid.