Death of Access

By: Ernel Martinez, Jared Wood

Assisted by Rebecca Miller

Special thanks to: Amir Casey, Marcus Boyd, Stephen Drain, Zack Lucas, Faris Bey, Devon Harrison, Nariah Harison, Eddia Wright

Death of Access is composed of photography, video, performance art and a site-specific installation. Artist Ernel Martinez and teaching artist Jared Wood collaborated to coordinate student participation.

The artwork illuminates the challenge, successes, and frustrations that housing insecure youths experience.

Black and white photography and a video projection document a metaphorical burial ceremony, steeped in afro-Caribbean traditions and inspired by jazz funeral processions of New Orleans. A trumpeter leads a masked burial procession along the Lancaster Avenue business corridor. Students, as pallbearers, follow, carrying a door. The door functions as both a symbol of access and egress as the youths transition into adulthood.

The door’s resonance is represented in a paper-mold composed of recycled transcribed interviews. The paper door hangs as if suspended in midair within a wooden door frame structure. Both sides of the paper door are covered in youths’ testimonials; on one side the text reflects their tribulations around stable housing, and on the other side, their youthful optimism of a better future to come.

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