A glimpse of a ghost or doppelganer from the American past is seen walking through swamps reminiscent of the Louisiana bayou. Half hidden behind a tree, one is only able to identify the character contextually from the irony of her long dreadlocks and her pristine white southern belle dress. This image bears a visceral reference to the tragic floods of the same year that left so many poor African-Americans all but ignored and left to negotiate vile waters.
The image ground is repeated like an audio glitch or memory fragment that refuses to leave the mind. The apparition is a black and white photomontage, dressed for a gala event. The waveforms of her noise are seen oscillating through the trees and the water’s reflection.
The Apparition Series (2005 - present) is an on-going multi-media project in which an apparition or ghost of the American past is used to represent conceptual trajectories between historical and contemporary experiences. The Apparition itself, appears as an African-American woman in an ironic combination of historical attire and hair-dress that would be unlikely for a black woman during the period the clothing itself suggests. Her pristine white ‘Southern Belle’ dress of the Civil War era stands in contrast to the body it covers and the tuft of dreadlocks that spill out over the head.
Throughout the series, the formal qualities of the apparition as an image create a linkage between historical and contemporary representations of the body through its combinatory use of references to black and white portraiture and photomontage, and to the surreal cybernetic qualities of avatars in virtual reality environments.
The conceptual content of the environment in which she appears varies with each appearance as prompted by specific contemporary events and experiences. Levi Strauss likens the function of noise to an “anomaly in the unfolding of a syntagmatic sequence” (DavidToop, Ocean of Sound). Similarly, this projected presence, this noise-like interruption, has announced itself in an oscillating dream space; fragments of a collective memory whose existence persists as engrained in the medium of a contemporary experience shared by many.
See also the Apparition Wall Print