Tomashi Jackson Interstate Love Song
January 27 – May 6, 2018
Zuckerman Museum of Art | East Galleries
Sarah Higgins, curator
Interstate Love Song continued Tomashi Jackson’s ongoing work with the histories of segregation, desegregation, and the language of public space and policy, as viewed through the lens of color theory. Jackson’s art combines painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, and video with imagery sourced from archival research to create hybrid visual collages.
As part of her ongoing enquiry, Jackson explored the linguistic links between Joseph Albers’ foundational text, Interaction of Color, and the language of racial segregation found in policy and court transcripts of the mid twentieth-century. She discovered a kinship in the language of how colors relate – whether this refers to pigments or racialized subjects. She translated this relationship into a strategy for making art that is simultaneously formal and imbued with a historical narrative. Building on this research and recent site visits, this exhibition is a project of investigation into the history of transportation in the Metro-Atlanta vicinity.
Jackson is particularly interested in the movements and migrations of groups of people, the curtailment of these for populations of color, and how boundary lines were drawn, maintained, and in some ways subverted. The work for this exhibition engages with three core points of investigation: Georgia’s county unit voting system (1898-1962); the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) referenda (1965-the present); and the Clark Atlanta University radio station, WCLK 91.9.
The exhibition’s content was developed throughout multiple site-visits by Jackson. It was researched using primary and secondary sources, bibliography, and direct references to archival material pertaining to the county unit voting system, the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority referenda, Clark Atlanta University radio station and art museum, and Metro-Atlanta regional development. The exhibition was inspired and guided by the primary text, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, by Kevin Kruse. Jackson had in-depth conversations with historians, artists, and activists. Their perspectives influenced the artworks and were included in the catalog as personal narratives.
Tomashi Jackson was born in Houston, Texas in 1980 and was raised in Los Angeles, California. She earned a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art, a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art and a MS in Art, Culture, and Technology from the M.I.T. School of Architecture and Planning. She lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts.