King Me King Manor
King Me King Manor: Who Gets To Be Kinged? is a site responsive, socially engaged artwork that focuses on scrutinizing the histories that become embodied within historical structures, like the King Manor Museum, and addresses the incompleteness of the historical perspective that gets used by such an institution. King Manor Museum, located in Jamaica, Queens, NY, was the home of Rufus King.
This artwork provokes dialogue around whiteness. The 8ft x 8ft game board is sewn using the checker pattern and the word whiteness embroidered onto each white square. The images on the game pieces are of King Manor at different moments in time and the jumbled text derived from 3 source materials: The Archeology of Race in the Northeast- “Whiteness and the Transformation of Home, Work, and Self in Early New York,” by Christopher N. Mathews, The Racial Imaginary Institute: On Whiteness, and “A Phenomenology of whiteness” by Sara Ahmed.
The artwork challenges such an institution to uncover the unnoticed and untold perspectives by confronting the construction of whiteness in America. Museums along with educational institutions can become a vehicle for social change. Through this work I reflect on how historical institutions, like the King Manor Museum, can be a trigger for the traumas caused by white dominance and I re-imagine the role that these institutions can have in disrupting whiteness.
Architecture has served to create monumental structures that act as memorials, along with statues, placards and other such objects. My interest is in addressing injustices that historical buildings embody, and dismantling the over glorification of such buildings and the people associated with them, with greater scrutiny placed on the over glorification of white people when they become known as anti-slavery or abolitionist, which further perpetuates the support of America’s system of white dominance.