Artist's Statement

Rich Frishman

archival pigment giclée prints print size: 40-inch height by variable width All human landscape has cultural meaning. Because we rarely consider our constructions as evidence of our priorities, beliefs and desires, the testimony our landscape tells is perhaps more honest than anything we might intentionally present. Our built environment is society's autobiography writ large. Ghosts of Segregation photographically explores the vestiges of America's racism as seen in the vernacular landscape: Schools for "colored" children, theatre entrances and restrooms for "colored people," lynching sites, juke joints, jails, hotels and bus stations. What is past is prologue. We often take our daily environments for granted, but within even the most mundane edifice may lurk an important bit of history. If we are curious and diligent, we can read our surroundings like a book. That stairway apparently to nowhere once went somewhere. The curious palimpsest of bricks covers something. What purpose did they serve? Segregation is as much current events as it is history. These ghosts haunt us because they are very much alive.