So far 2014’s Black History Month has elicited the familiar feelings of dread and anticipation I often experience during this time of year. An all-girls school in Northern California created a Black History Month menu of fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon. Nick Cannon protested a Harriet Tubman Google Doodle all by himself. George Zimmerman, a murderer who refuses to cower away into obscurity, claims that he fears for his life yet agreed to participate in a celebrity boxing match, goading on the only famous black men he could think of, rappers Kayne West and DMX. American cultural values are deeply confused when women become famous for making sex tapes (Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, etc.) and white men become famous for murdering black teenagers. Something is insidiously wrong if I’m expecting the worst during a time that’s supposed to be celebratory and contemplative.
Last December Anarch gallery of London commissioned the artist Andrew T Cross to build a sculpture designed to function as a platform for a series of artists to ‘colonise’ the space. For two weeks Warren St. in London’s Fitzrovia district was host to a frenetic schedule of day long residencies, exhibitions, performances, meals and parties. In the spirit of artist Gordon Matta Clark this temporary community assembled in a vacant lighting show room to propose new ideas about making art.