Signs from Above, 2014 (A hat)
A strange thing happens while thumbing through David Dunlap’s comprehensive encyclopedia From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan’s Houses of Worship. The introductory pages include dozens of maps locating religious buildings identified throughout the city in sequential order. Right at 110th street, the dots proliferate: a mild rash transforming into viral infection; an index articulating Harlem’s concentration of churches, so ubiquitous throughout the neighborhood they become as unremarkable as the bodegas peppered between them. There are, we are told, over 400 in the neighborhood, depending on how you define its borders. They represent with equal facility diverse sects and religions entirely. Their leaders--iconic figures like Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X, were often key figures in the shaping of Harlem’s civic and spiritual life, with their names appropriately lent to street, church, and mosque alike.
Within these fluid intersections we find the greatest resonance of Harlem’s unique relationship with, if not religion, then perhaps religion’s affects... For full text see Manifest Magazine Isssue #2
In collaboration with Ang Li.