Private Garden/Vacant Corner
2019 - Ongoing
Private Garden/Vacant Corner is a diptych that explores Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the black community. Hinging a photo book and video as the dyad products of an almost decade-long artistic practice in photography, writing, publishing, curatorial practice, and image text. In a photobook fabricated materially to look and feel like a planter box in a neighborhood designated a High Poverty Area in a large American city full of black people, Bradley sets a trap for attention. Through his own poetics of social engagement Bradley shares specific events, and at the same time creates metaphors and abstract, notions about traumatic experiences. By using multiple "personas" -- he, I, etc. to tell his story. In a joint video, these literary personas share one voice, foregrounding disassociation as a narrative device. Bradley allows viewers to experience disassociation through him, against a background of photographs that confront their own value; garbage strewn amongst tree roots, a horizon line centered mid-frame, and lone and disconnected figures in the landscape. One voice narrates a video collage of archival photographs from the Library of Congress, portraits of black boys, landscape photographs, and a recent video of Philadelphia, cut with talking head footage of the artist reading from his poem Private Garden/Vacant Corner, which gets its name from a landscape design solution that was proposed for vacant property, in certain areas of Philadelphia in the early 2000s. A solution from which the project also gets its name.