Assignment One

Assignment One - Yip 1 Stacey Yip A08671483 COCU 100:...

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Yip 1 Stacey Yip A08671483 COCU 100: Section A07 Assignment One 19 April 2011 Making the Invisible Past a Visible History In Ken Gonzales-Day’s Silent Witness exhibition, two of his photography series are featured: Hang Trees and Erased Lynching. On his personal website, Gonzales-Day’s biography states that his projects show, “the construction of race, and the limits of representational systems.” This is seen in his series on Hang Trees and Erased Lynching. In Anna Meleksetian’s essay about Ken Gonzales-Day’s series Hang Trees, she says, “In semiotic terms, the tree is the signifier of a hidden signified, the body.” Meleksetian analyzes the way in which Gonzales-Day uses the trees in his photographs as a reference to something that is unseen. One example that can be analyzed in Meleksetian’s viewpoint is a piece in his Erased Lynching series titled, The Wonder Gaze (St. James Park), 2007. In this photograph, Gonzales-Day has erased the lynched body and the contraption of the noose, with the intention of making the invisible, visible. Through this erasure, Ken Gonzales-Day demonstrates that a tree is not just a product of nature, but a tangible artifact that signifies a hidden literal body, a body of people, and a rich history filled with racism, violence, and death. These hidden signifieds, in turn, ultimately acknowledge the identities of the lynching victims in the past, and how to approach America’s lynching past. The hidden signified of the body is apparent in Ken Gonzales-Day’s erasure of the
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2011 for the course COCU 100 taught by Professor Cartwright during the Spring '11 term at UCSD.

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Assignment One - Yip 1 Stacey Yip A08671483 COCU 100:...

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