Rhetoric of Opposites
Stencils, chalk paint
I wanted to examine the use of fearful and divisive rhetoric in the current national political environment by juxtaposing words with opposite meaning in pairs together along the Minuteman Bikeway. With the inclusive/exclusive language that we are hearing nowadays, it is important to get the message of diversity and inclusion out.
The history and spatial setting of the Bikeway – which follows the same path of those who rode out to Concord and beyond during the American War of Independence – seems to be a perfect setting to discuss the issues relevant to our times today.
By bringing some of these words into the public realm, I hope to challenge and transform the experiences of bikeway users by encouraging them to think about where they come from and where they are going – in the context of their community, their city, and the larger world.
The path itself flows in opposite directions and it seems like a great opportunity to use pairs of words that would sit alongside each other but face the opposite direction. The words are designed in such a way that they feel familiar and blend into the signage language already established along the path. I did not want the installation to be invasive in nature; my goal is to create something legible – but not stalling – to a bicyclist, in the same way that directional road signage is legible to a car driver on Mass Avenue.