Imani Jacqueline Brown

Social Practice
Artist in Residence, 2018

A portrait of a person against light background.

Artist Statement

I am a native of New Orleans, a sometimes-artist, a born-and-bred activist, and a waking researcher. I truly believe that art can drive policy, but after three years of working with blighted, indebted land, I feel that I, too, have become blighted. Not just because I have come to understand that like this Black land, I, a Black female, am devalued and disinvested in by society, but because when I peer through the thick kudzu curtains that embrace blighted homes, that flower a caution tape-yellow in springtime, I see myself. Squatting in the dark of the past. Still clutching memories that the City has long abandoned. I know that I must move forward and reorient my work to face climate change: the greatest threat to the future and our greatest opportunity to redress the ills of the past. What will we need to rediscover about ourselves, our communities, history, and ecology as we confront the upheaval of the world?


While At Headlands

I have worked in collectives for seven years. From OWS and Occupy Museums to Blights Out I have merged my vision with others. My faith in the future of humanity rests with collaborative work, but right now I crave a break: a turn inward to reflect, write, read, develop and define myself and my personal practice. At Headlands, I plan to lose myself in the glory of Marin. When I’m not hiking and practicing being silent, I plan to work on Truth as Theatrical Fiction, a project I began in November 2017 in Warsaw, Poland, that probes the meaning of truth in an age of 24-hour news, personal truth, hyperpolarization, and the rise of global fascism through the use of kaleidoscope conversations––a mode of dialogue of questions without answers. I will map the concentric circles of hundreds of questions from Warsaw to render visible the questions we hold in common.