Volume Four, Issue 3

Mourning/Warning: Numbers and Repeaters

Tia Blassingame

Artist Statement:

Mourning/Warning: Numbers and Repeaters

2018, digitally printed, 8.5 x 11 inches, 30 copies. 100% of the sales proceeds are donated to the Innocence Project New Orleans, National Bail Out & Ujimaa Medics.

This set of numerical and repeater, or substitute, maritime flags compliments the alphabetical flags featured in Mourning/Warning: An Abecedarian. The repeaters make character duplication possible and can make historical and contemporary patterns of suffering, grief, humiliation painfully apparent.

Stripping the maritime alphabet of its primary colors and replacing them with muted browns and blacks, Mourning/Warning 2 highlights the relationship of Americans of African diaspora to water, maritime travel and the need for an alternate means of communication in times of emergency and duress. How do you send a warning call that hatred comes constantly in waves?

M/W 2 serves as a method of honoring, mourning, and remembering the slain and wronged as well as teaching our children and ourselves to be vigilant and wary in hostile terrain, where your skin color makes you an easy target.

Tia Blassingame: "I am book artist and printmaker exploring the intersection of race, history, and perception. I often incorporate archival research and my own poetry in my artist’s book projects for nuanced discussions of racism in the United States. My artist's books are held in library and museum collections including Library of Congress, Stanford University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and State Library of Queensland. I am an Associate Professor of Art at Scripps College and serve as the Director of Scripps College Press.

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