A Color Removed
michael rakowitz In collaboration with Amber N. Ford, Amanda King, M. CArmen Lane, RA Washington
July 14 - September 30, 2018
SPACES + locations throughout cleveland, oh

A Color Removed by Michael Rakowitz, is a city-wide participatory project that addresses the underlying questions regarding the right to safety and the steps we need to take to develop peaceful communities and safety for everyone.

Cleveland has played a central role in the national conversation about police brutality. In the 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by police, the victim who was-according to the police dispatch call-"pointing a gun at people" was, in fact, holding a toy gun with its orange safety tip removed. In response, A Color Removed formally commenced with a public letter writing campaign in the fall of 2017, which proposed the removal of orange from the city and the suspension of the color's use in public spaces, as well as an open call for orange objects in the spring of 2018.  

Clothing, toys, sports equipment, household items, etc. were catalogued and displayed at SPACES from July 14 to September 30, 2018, during the FRONT Triennial's An American City, in order to prompt viewers to consider how it feels to live in a society where the right to safety has been visually displaced. But before entering the supersaturated display, visitors walked through a group exhibition in the front gallery, comprised of work by local artists Amber Ford, Amanda King and Shooting Without Bullets youth photographers, M. Carmen Lane, and RA Washington, who have long explored the conceptual underpinnings of A Color Removed in their work. Their work comments on the vulnerability of black women navigating the intersecting oppressions of race, gender and socioeconomic status; the cumulative impact of racialized violence; and the shared responsibility of improving our community.


Facilitated discussions and workshops were conducted by the artist, partner organizations, and community collaborators, and housed within the monochrome A Color Removed display at SPACES, where fearless listening enabled fearless speaking.

July 15: Dinner hosted by Ms. Samaria Rice & Michael Rakowitz, to introduce Cleveland's cultural leaders to the objectives of the Tamir Rice Foundation.

July 19, August 16, September 13: My Neighbor's Keeper is a monthly discussion about the right to and expectation of safety in Cleveland.

July 28: What represents safety for children of color in our community? In Questions of Safety Answered by Children of Color, kids give responses by drawing what makes them feel safe. Artist Megan Young and collaborators create 3D printed replicas of each drawing for participants to keep. 

August 4: Trauma, Yoga, and the Brain with Elaine Hullihen.

September 6: Space Force, a critical review of "Space Traders" (1994) based on the short story by Derrick Bell, led by M. Carmen Lane. Participants will enjoy popcorn made in the A Color Removed kitchen, sprinkled with zaataar, furikake and other notoriously smuggled spices.

September 22: Join Cleveland VOTES and celebrate democracy on National Voter Registration Day with two screenings of Chapters 3 & 5 of "Dispatches From Cleveland," a documentary that poetically examines the trauma and triumph of building a movement in the city. 


A Color Removed is organized by SPACES for FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. The project is made possible, in part, with support from the Beamer-Schneider Professorship in Ethics of Case Western Reserve University, The Muted Horn Gallery, and the City of Cleveland's Minority Arts & Education Fund.