Everyone has their own desired way to speak out against racial injustices and systematic oppression towards another race. ArtPrize artist Ti-Rock Moore, of New Orleans, Louisiana, has her own unique way to spark conversations about racism in America.
Inside Fountain Street Church, you will find art depicting a number of tough issues. Everything from sex trafficking to genocide, from racial discrepancy to the problems of supporting for-profit education, this venue speaks volumes to the dark side of our world.
But Ti-Rock Moore’s “Flint” piece sticks out. This specific art piece contains a water fountain that runs a continuous dirty stream of water below a the “colored” sign affixed to the wall , representing a symbol of racism from the Jim Crow era. The purpose for the dirty water running out of it, is to highlight the Flint water crisis and how it still is an problem that has not been properly addressed.
The Collegiate staff got to speak with Ti-Rock Moore to discuss her artist activism.
“The beauty behind my Flint piece was that it was never about me, but about the city of Flint,” Moore said.
Moore has gained a reputation for creating controversial art. She has been criticized for her earlier work and one piece in particular that depictioned the Michael Brown murder. While Moore admits she would not create a piece like that one again, she is compelled to keep creating art to raise awareness about racism in America.
“All of the reasons why I’m am where I am when it comes to my art is because of the controversy that surrounds it,” Moore said. “My work is controversial because I’m a white woman and a lot of people do not see my work as a white artist working in my whiteness.”
The message that Moore leaves in her artwork are, at many times, misconstrued.
“People interpret art very differently,” Moore said. “You’re going to have people that agree or disagree with you no matter what you do, but the work I’m doing is very sensitive.”
Moore said she plans to continue to speak out against these injustices through her work.
“There are two groups, the protagonist and the antagonist, the perpetrator and the victim, us and them, black and white,” Moore said. “As a member of the perpetrating group (white), I am standing up and I am speaking out and I will continue to despite what anybody says, despite what the controversies are. I know where I come from in the depths of my heart. I am a white person who has to learn, because I never had to live with dealing with racism. I have the unearned advantage of this skin, so I have to learn more about the oppressions I have perpetrated on another group of people. This is about collective awareness, and our collective selves, we can’t only deal with our individual selves anymore. We just can’t allow what’s been going to go on.”
The juried award finalist list for ArtPrize will be announced later today.