“For my installation I really wanted to focus on what actually makes a room, your room. It's mostly a place where people feel safest, and a place where identity starts to form. How that same self discovery in that room can lead you to alienate yourself. Young people often find a haven in this room and depend on it. They feel like they are so lonely in their town. In their world, but it can slowly start to harm them. That alienation leads to discoveries of mental health and toxic tendencies. I wanted my installation to incorporate all these things.
I pinned court documents, fees, and receipts to the corner of the wall where I'd sit on my bed to show some of the daunting things on my mind while in my room. Getting arrested was one of the bigger turning points in my life because I had to deal with the repercussions for over a year plus. It really solidified some of my own qualms with identity and how people view me. It is one thing to be aware of the system and it is another thing to actually have to go through it yourself. It was dehumanizing and showed me what America thought of young black men. I wanted to contrast my mugshot by having a photo of my mother and grandfather up. They are the strongest people I know and give me the most strength when I am down. My identity is not my track record. My identity is my blood, where I come from, and what I believe in.
During the gallery, I would read while people were in my room, chain smoke out the window, change outfits, listen to my CD player. It was fun interacting with the audience in this way. Almost ignoring their existence until someone would tap me on the shoulder.”