Speak of Inez With Love

2019. Dimensions: Site Specific Installation, 14ft x 10ft x 10ft. Materials: Cameras: Cardboard, Wood, Flock, Craft Rhinestones, Acrylic Paint, Hot Glue, Holographic Glitter. Roses: Found Books, Acrylic Paint, Hot Glue, Steel, Window Screen. Audio: Artist singing “Dreadful Memories” by Sara Gunning, layered, echoed and looped.

On October 11th, 2000, the bottom of a coal slurry impoundment gave out, flooding both the town of Inez Kentucky and the Tug Fork River, with an estimated 306,000,000 gallons of toxic coal sludge. The sludge line got to be 6 feet in Inez, covering small homes and overtaking the rivers contaminating the water supply for over 27,000 people. 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill, this spill is considered by the EPA to be the “worst environmental disasters ever in the southeastern United States”.

Throughout Appalachia there are stories like this. From demolishing the mountains, the contamination of water ways, the toxic floods, the fly ash that covers the desks of school children, to mine collapses and ever increasing cases of Black Lung, the message of King Coal is that the land underneath your feet is more valuable than the lives inhabiting the land. In step with any other colonel project, to confront this reality, to speak the truth of the devastation around you, is a politically dangerous act. Speak of Inez with Love is a dream space where material contradictions weave together to create a space where both mourning and political reckoning exists.