The Charleston Rhizome Collective and The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs present conNECKted: Imaginings for Truth and Reconciliation, a multi-media installation, at City Gallery July 22 through August 27, 2017. The exhibition will open with a reception Friday, July 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
Led by artists Jean-Marie Mauclet and Gwylene Gallimard, with members of the Charleston Rhizome Collective including educators/activists Pamella Gibbs, La’Sheia Oubre and Debra Holt, the artistic team for conNECKted has developed interactive pieces that will be installed throughout City Gallery. conNECKted is an Art-in/with community project that seeks to explore social dynamics and to question cultural expression in Charleston.
The NECK of conNECKted refers to anatomy as well as the geography of Charleston, where the “NECK” happens to be one area of significant development and change. The goal is to challenge Charleston to engage with the issues at play by amplifying the voices of people most susceptible to displacement, utilizing creative community-engaged arts strategies and actions.
This gallery-wide installation features a series of uniquely-built cultural spaces and community videos, allowing for exchanges, conversations, improvisations and events between artists, educators, activists and citizens. The members of the Charleston Rhizome Collective have developed interactive pieces, including “Debra & Geraldine’s street,” “Nautical stories,” “Penetrable Banners and Poetry for Memorialization with Action,” “Peace Scrolls by Youth,” “A low-line of Portraits of the News Media,” “ Imagination Tables” and sound installations. Designed for interactivity, visitors are invited to participate in game-like mappings, enter ideas into a Book of Grievances in the shadow of a Justice Tree, initiate “Cultural Impact Studies” (to parallel Environmental Impact Studies), discover stories from neighbors and add their own.
conNECKted seeks to more deeply explore social, economic, and educational policies and practices through a social justice lens. The artistic team notes, “The goal is to realize that, in this era of displacement and denial of history and culture, “Belonging” is the key to empowerment and transformation, the cornerstone of our present and future realities.”
The Charleston Rhizome Collective is an Art-in/with community group, where education, art and activism intersect. By design, it is grassroots, inter-racial and intergenerational. Through the arts, they aim to amplify the voices of neighborhoods absent from public and private plans: social, cultural and economic. Parts of the “conNECKted” project are supported by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, Alternate ROOTS (Partners in Action Program and Artistic Assistance), We Shall Overcome Fund, Rajni Shah Productions (One Final Act), the US Department of Arts & Culture (a non-profit organization, not a government agency) and the N.E.W. Fund from The Coastal Community Foundation.