July 14 - September 30, 2018

A Color Removed

What does it look like when the right to safety is removed?

Amir Berbic (Cleveland, OH), Amber Ford (Cleveland, OH), Amanda King (Cleveland, OH), M. Carmen Lane (Cleveland, OH), Michael Rakowitz, RA Washington (Cleveland, OH)

Part of SWAP

A Color Removed
A Color Removed
A Color Removed

Michael Rakowitz (Chicago, IL)
In Residence: Periodically, 2015-2018

Opening Reception: July 14, 2018
On View: July 14 - September 30, 2018

Photo Catalogue Video Catalogue Gallery Guide

A Color Removed is a city-wide participatory project grounded in the impossible gesture of removing the color orange from Cleveland and suspending its future use.

The presence of orange, as a symbol of safety, encourages complacency. But what if we could trust that safety is a right guaranteed to everyone who travels in, through, and around Cleveland? What if orange was rendered superfluous? A Color Removed addresses the underlying questions regarding the right to safety by encouraging community members to deconstruct its symbols and create solidarity for a more peaceful city.

A Color Removed formally commenced with a public letter writing campaign in the fall of 2017 and continues with an open call for orange objects to be accumulated in collection bins installed throughout Cleveland. Clothing, toys, sports equipment, household items, etc. will be catalogued and displayed at SPACES from July 15 to September 30, 2018. The enlistment of community members in surrendering orange objects and developing responses to the supersaturated orange display at SPACES is an invitation to a difficult and ongoing conversation around the forces that shape safety in American cities, including gun violence and community-police relations, as well as the overlapping impacts connecting characteristics that are targeted for oppression. Facilitated discussions and workshops were conducted by partner organizations, project collaborators, and neighbors in conjunction with additional outreach developed by SPACES team: Christina Vassalo, Michelle Epps, Bruce Edwards, Karl Anderson, and Megan Young.

A Color Removed was conceived by Michael Rakowitz, as a response to the shooting of Tamir Rice by Cleveland police, and was debuted as a call to action during his 2015 Beamer-Schneider Lecture at Case Western Reserve University. In response to community feedback and the involvement of the Rice family, the project evolved to include a group exhibition of newly commissioned works by Cleveland-based artists who have long explored the conceptual underpinnings of A Color Removed in their work: Amber N. Ford, Amanda King and Shooting Without Bullets youth photographers, M. Carmen Lane, and RA Washington of Guide to Kulchur Learn House. Additional collaborators include Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, Amir Berbic, Christopher Horne, Elaine Hullihen, Kelley O'Brien & Anthony Warnick of The Muted Horn, and Samaria Rice & The Tamir Rice Foundation.

This project was present as part of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

About the Artists

Amir Berbic

Amir Berbić’s graphic design work explores place identity, three-dimensional typography and design pedagogy. He is a frequent collaborator with cultural organizations, arts institutions and publishers. Berbić is Associate Professor and Chair of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He served as Acting Director of the... go to artist page

Amber Ford

Amber N. Ford is a photographer/artist based in Cleveland, Ohio. Ford received her BFA in Photography from the Cleveland Institute of Art ’16. Primarily working in photography while occasionally exploring other mediums such at printmaking. She is best known for her work in portraiture, which she refers to as a... go to artist page

Amanda King

(b. 1989) is an activist/artist living in Cleveland, Ohio. Her work explores themes of race, gender, socioeconomics, trauma and community. She is the Founder and Creative Director of Shooting Without Bullets, an expressive arts program that provides a framework for black and brown youth in Cleveland to develop and utilize... go to artist page

M. Carmen Lane

M. Carmen Lane (b. 1975) is a two:spirit African-American and Haudenosaunee (Mohawk/Tuscarora) artist, cultural worker, poet, popular educator and consultant living in Kahyonhá:ke (Cleveland, Ohio). Lane received their BA in Women’s Studies with a focus in feminist art history, theory & criticism from Earlham College and later earned their MS... go to artist page

Michael Rakowitz

Michael Rakowitz (b. 1973, New York) is an artist living and working in Chicago. In 1998 he initiated paraSITE, an ongoing project in which the artist custom builds inflatable shelters for homeless people that attach to the exterior outtake vents of a building’s heating, ventilation, or air conditioning system. His... go to artist page

RA Washington

RA Washington is a polymath living on Cleveland's West Side. Washington's work spans two decades and several genres, most recently the novels, CITI, FOUR INTERIORS (Outlandish Press 2017, 2018); a collection of poems, BLACK EUNUCH (Outlandish Press 2018) and two memoirs, BODY, and BALDWIN NOTES (Outlandish Press 2018, 2019). He... go to artist page

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