Stories of Shadows - Victori+Mo, Brooklyn, NY - December 2016

Stories of Shadows expands upon an iteration of the artist’s Eavesdropping series in which Tarver constructed a fictional narrative around a found photograph of a black woman. Wearing glasses and facing the camera, this woman’s anonymity captivated Tarver, who created a fictional identity for her including details about her domestic life. Tarver named the woman Vera Otis (“veritas,” or, truth) as a reminder that nothing about her is, in fact, true. In many ways, Vera Otis acts as a surrogate for Tarver who, as a woman of color, finds Otis’s life a comforting place to imbue her hopes and fears upon.

Building on the work from the Eavesdropping series, Stories of Shadows will fill in more of the noirish mystery of Vera’s life through eight immersive video works, or, “vignettes” depicting her home environment, played on a loop and projected on the gallery wall. The vignettes are designed to operate independently of each other and out of any prescribed sequence.

To complement the moving image works, a deconstruction of the bedroom from the model house featured in the filmed vignettes will augment the narrative built around Vera’s identity. Composed of elaborate dioramas built inside moving boxes placed throughout the gallery space, the life of this character will be manifested physically for the first time, but only in a limited, circumscribed manner, which provides more questions than answers. Read full press release