Jul 27th 2019

Blood Lines: An Installation Commemorating the 1919 Chicago Race Riots

A recounting in sound of the week of events beginning July 27, 1919 that started with the stoning death of a teenage African American boy in Lake Michigan.

NON:op Open Opera Works
Christophe Preissing, sound installation
David Sundry, visual design and construction

Blood Lines is a metaphor for the line—known as the “Deadline” at the turn of the 20th century—that separated the Black Belt from the white immigrant communities of Packingtown (roughly Wentworth Avenue). The Blood Lines installation commemorates the Race Riots with long tuned wires, placed in the center aisle to separate the sanctuary into two parts, a mechanical activation system, and a wooden sculpture/resonator. Tuning and timing are determined by the distance in space and time from Eugene Williams’ drowning on July 27 to each subsequent death.

At the July 27 opening, during Open House Chicago, and at the installation’s closing members of Hyde Parks faith communities and civic groups will read name, age, race, and cause of each death in time with the murder sequence in a performance that will last one hour.

To find out more about Blood Lines and how you can support the installation by sponsoring a wire or making another donation please visit www.nonopera.org/WP2/bloodlines

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