Projects > A Blues for Saint Louis

What do a people do with their history of horror? What does it mean to bear witness in the act of watching a retelling? What does it mean to carry cultural memory on the flesh?
-Elizabeth Alexander


A Blues for Saint Louis is an ongoing series culled from news articles, headlines, conversations, images and other information that we consume and take into our bodies, knowingly and unknowingly. This work, this blues, stems from the grief of living in traumatic times of state sanctioned violence and hashtag death rosters. This work was an interruption to my other work. It was and is uncomfortable and agonizing. It interrogates the uncomfortable silence that plagues Saint Louis and America. A discomfort that some would rather bury like a body than face. But it isn’t all sorrow. The work is a conversation, a dialogue of resilience, and transcendence. As Langston Hughes put it: “the blues are about the crossroads between good and evil and tragedy and comedy”

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