Jackie DesForges

Ana #1 (from 911 call transcript) from the Missing series (2020)
acrylic, tape, and paper on cardboard
24 x 24 in.

“As a writer and an artist, I’m interested in the visual appearance of words on a page or a canvas — not only what they say, but how they’re arranged. My “Missing” series is a collection of erasure poems dedicated to specific women (like Ana Mendieta, Breonna Taylor, and Amy Bradley) who are currently missing from global conversations, communities, and/or historical texts either because they have literally gone missing, or because they died of unnatural and tragic causes. My source materials include newspaper and magazine articles, written laws, phone call transcripts, and any other documents where the woman is theoretically the subject and yet appears in the document more as an object.

The erasure poems allow me to write the women back into these documents by erasing any irrelevant, incorrect, offensive, or otherwise unnecessary information so that the women can be centered in the conversation — or, in the case of Ana #1, so that the women can speak to us directly. The visual form of the poems — the missing spaces between words and the jarring line breaks — emphasizes the massive and jarring sense of loss I feel when I think about the absence of these women and all they had left to do in their lives.”

artist’s website

© Jackie DesForges