Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
A speculative, fantastical vision of historical figures and events, Tourmaline’s Salacia follows Mary Jones, a Black trans woman and sex worker who lived in New York in the 1830s. Jones navigates brutal systems of racism and transphobia, including incarceration at Castle Williams, located on present-day Governors Island. Meditating on the intergenerational trauma of displacement, Tourmaline imagines Jones within the free Black landowning community Seneca Village, and foreshadows the village’s destruction through eminent domain to build Central Park.
Originally commissioned for the Brooklyn Museum’s 2019 exhibition Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall, Tourmaline’s film connects the past to the present. Footage from 1995 of trans activist Sylvia Rivera decrying the imminent destruction of an encampment housing her and other unhoused LGBTQ+ people along the Hudson River underscores the continued violence of gentrification and displacement.
Video, color, sound, 6 minutes 4 seconds
Co-commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum and High Line Art, presented on the High Line by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and gift of the artist with support from the Mary Smith Dorward Fund
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Tourmaline (American, born 1983). Salacia, 2019. Video, color, sound, 6 minutes 4 seconds Brooklyn Museum, Co-commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum and High Line Art, presented on the High Line by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and gift of the artist with support from the Mary Smith Dorward Fund, 2019.39. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2019.39_view01_SC.jpg)
screen capture, Timestamp: 00:50, 2019.39_view01_SC.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2020
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