There is a phenomenon that happens when looking at a schematic of floor plan. Immediately one adheres to a set capacity of space in which to move and exist. One is made implicit in a language set by minimal symbols and visual queues. This subtle yet instantaneous adherence to structure, is a key motivation in my investigative practice and is, as I see it, a pivotal element in understanding the experience of moving through spaces as a person of color. More specifically, I investigate how the languages of my past conflict, almost constantly, with the languages of an imminent present. I often use the same observations to reconcile an unwilling departure from my small childhood neighborhood on the westside of Chicago. Noam Chomsky writes “Language is like a bell. It sounds and it means[...] It is merely a series of distractions in the air [...] When language gongs, it comes in contact with the mind.” It is my belief that we are never truly removed from the languages of our makings and are constantly seeking to communicate stories through the lenses of our origins. I find this especially true when considering the intricacies of the African American Vernacular(AAVE). There are subtle implications that allude to state of being. Said state is one quintessential to the AAVE because it lends itself to the nature of being cyclical and indefinite. The phrase “I be going in”, for instance, is a delicate contradiction of potential (future tense) and what is expected (present tense). Through a series of GIFs, animated shorts, woven tapestries and photographs, I investigate the memory associations that fuel the very languages we use to navigate through memory and the present.
Tavia David is an artist from Chicago Illinois.