Amanda Williams creates a site-specific installation for The Arts Club Garden Projects series in which she inserts a secondary fence that breaks away from the existing boundary, blurring the distinction between its function as barrier and container alike. Uppity Negress addresses the layered roles gender and race have played historically in black women’s ability to navigate their position in urban space.
Fascinated by the way the garden operates as a liminal space between public and private, Williams’s installation highlights concepts of authority and access–noting when each is granted or denied. Recent instances in contemporary culture have resurrected the term uppity to challenge the suggestion that black women have forgotten their place, or need reminding. By venturing “out of line,” the fence creates a disorienting space that calls into question the relationship between restraint and protection.