Arts

‘… And Counting’ Installation Remembers Victims Involved In 2016 Police Killings

Activist artist Ann Lewis wants her audience to see the names of the 1,093 victims who were killed by police in 2016.
Activist artist Ann Lewis wants her audience to see the names of the 1,093 victims who were killed by police in 2016.
Credit Will Edmond / Contributed

Detroit-based artist and activist Ann Lewis wanted to delve into the statistics of how many people are killed by police officers. She had used paintings and large-scale installations before in order to create participatory performances with viewers.

Lewis’ ‘GENTRIFICATION IN PROGRESS’ banner got her national media attention in 2014.

Her installation “… and counting” will be on display at Atlanta’s Emerging Collective through April 12. The installation features 1,093 toe tags hanging from the ceiling. Each toe tag was filled out by hand and it displays the name, age, race and cause of death.

Lewis said seeing the names of the victims helps people wrap their minds around the high number of police shootings.

“If you have a physical representation of each person, then you can actually see how dramatic this epidemic is,” Lewis said.

On Thursday, Emerging Collective will host a discussion about artists working for social change.

Reitzes spoke with  Lewis and Emerging Collective founder Raj Udeshi about the installation.

“2-D visuals are going to be completely dwarfed by that sensibility of an immersive public service announcement,” said Udeshi about the undergoing change of how art is presented.