LOCATION: The Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture
DATE: FEBRUARY 7, 2019 – MARCH 22, 2019
CURATOR: JEFFREY KENT
Devin Allen’s debut exhibition will include color photography in a building that has been the home of many “Firsts” in Baltimore’s history. Allen has just started his journey. Many believed that his TIME cover premiere would be the start and end of his career. Fortunately, it was only the beginning. Spaces of the Un-Entitled is informed by Allen’s visual analysis on architectural history and its effects on impoverished communities. Allen is creating a storyline from his personal experiences, as well as experiences from dwellers within Baltimore City.
Allen’s use of color will provide the viewer with intentional emotion and expression that he wants to portray. This exhibition will be a multifaceted experience of photography, installation, video and new media experiments. With the help of fellow Baltimore based artists and individuals from the community; Allen will create an installation of a Vacant Baltimore Row House, to reveal that there is more to these forgotten stories that live behind the boarded up windows and burned out door frames. He continues to cull fragments of the past and tell a part of a story that has not been heard or seen before.
Allen unpacks the past from each vacant home that he documents. More than just storytelling, he investigates where, why and when these memories are left behind.
Audiences will wonder, “Who are these people? Why did they leave? Where are they now?”
The abundance of vacant homes in Baltimore, is an aspect of racism. The “American Dream” is essentially racist. Most believe the American Dream, is to leave the ghetto behind..forgetting where you came from and embracing the “white picket fence.”
The gentrification of these houses; being torn down and rebuilt: diminishes the architectural history that was there before. The Peale Center is a hub of historical architecture and Allen hopes to provide another side of that story. These artists will remove forgotten objects from the very homes that are documented. The removal of objects will be placed into an instillation and will provide the audience with an experience of the vacant and the unremembered.
Allen wrestles with the idea that just because you are successful, doesn’t mean you can’t live and thrive in the (neighbor)hood. The construct of society has told people that we shouldn’t love were we come from. Allen’s goal remains the same: To start conversation and to move positively forward as a united community, and to inspire people to take action and get involve. Allen says, “People love to talk about the struggle, they love to talk about concrete roses and they love to talk about diamonds in the ruff. But how many of us are willing to take on the task of getting involved and helping the roses grow?”