Eminent Domain

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Roughly a four-block section of Kansas City’s east-side Wendell Phillips neighborhood no longer exists, at least as it once did. Dozens of homes on nearly 130 parcels of land were acquired by the city via eminent domain to make room for a new East Patrol police station and crime lab. Forty-three households were displaced, some forcibly.

Matt Rahner, an adjunct instructor of visual art at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, began documenting the dismantling of this enclave in the predominantly African American neighborhood in the fall of 2012, photographing residents and their homes from the time the houses still stood until they were rubble.

Those photographs—along with objects and ephemera from the vacant homes and lots—make up this new installation in the Genevieve Guldner Gallery.