"Within Our Gates is a three-channel video that was first projected inside an abandoned water tower in Atlanta’s Fourth Ward, just blocks away from the birthplace, home and church of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Viewers entered this vertical cavern on a deck over a reflective pool, enraptured by the sound of a female voice singing a cappella spiritual and freedom songs, and enveloped by images in a space illuminated by video projections of a collage of news footage of the Civil Rights Movement (and their conjoined mirror images in the water). The second soundtrack, located at the entrance of the structure, consisted of an interpretive reading of Governor George Wallace’s 1963 inaugural speech, during which he notoriously stated, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow,segregation forever.” Moving forward and backward on the audio axis, this video becomes a visual portal between past and present as it commemorates the scores of individuals that made the Civil Rights Movement a success. The video clips feature a range of imagery, including dramatic shots of burning crosses, fervent political speeches and public rallies. Moreover, the presence of the assembled crowds and marching figures in the video is animated by the rousing cadence asserted by the piece’s soundtrack. This dynamic, multi-media assemblage transports the viewer from the present to the site of civil rights protests in a work whose scale and scope produce not only a sense of community but also continuity."

"Within Our Gates." In Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, edited by Jennie Hirsh, 59.  Baltimore, MD: Maryland Institute College of Art, 2010. 

©Exhibition Development Seminar 2009-2010, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA: Baltimore, 2010) 


To view or download the entire exhibition catalogue from Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry with descriptions of each work as well as a critical essay, please visit the Featured page.