Hearts [Like Diamonds]:
5th Ward, Houston
The Monozygotic Twins of 5th Ward
One of three site specific sculptures commissioned by Houston Museum of African American Culture which highlights industry’s insatiable need for expansion and capitalism’s dependency upon Black, Latinx, and other communities of color as preservers of unapplied capital. Expansion regards these communities as expendable, an attitude that can only be addressed through the transference of knowledge and the willful acceptance of that information. It symbolizes the unbreakable bonds forged within communities while its residents are shepherded into a system of intentionally, seemingly insurmountable hardships and hazards.
If they refuse to write about us, to present us as our whole, true selves; if they will not highlight or showcase our excellence, or entertain our assertions for agency, we must deduce that we are solely responsible for curating an inclusive space and assuming agency where it was once denied so that we may project our stories and the stories of our communities into the future.
Hearts [Like Diamonds] envisions, if not reimagines the community of 5th Ward, Houston, Texas as a mine where diamonds are formed under variants of discriminatory pressure. Pressures which are applied to all residing within the redlined district, indiscriminately. Diamonds, birthed, are raw glass like orbs of hardened carbon. However, once cut, the nearly colorless stones reflect and refract colors and light waves with razorlike precision, transforming white light into brilliant displays of rainbow-banded colors. Its preciousness, and near indestructible properties make it one of the most coveted naturally occurring objects in the world. The spaces these stones are found are not always the most beautiful, yet what lies hidden beneath the surfaces of these landscapes beacons prospectors.