• Azurest
    Michael Borowski

Michael Borowski, Azurest South (West), 2018, Ettrick, Virginia. © Michael Borowski.

Azurest is a photographic examination of race, gender, queer desire, and homemaking in Jim Crow era Virginia. It is part documentary and part speculation. The primary subject is Azurest South (1938), the historic home and studio of Amaza Lee Meredith. Despite her exclusion from the architecture profession for being an African American woman, Meredith designed one of the earliest International Style buildings in Virginia, which she cohabited with Dr. Edna Meade Colson. The series includes photographs of the historic home and ephemera from Meredith’s archive at Virginia State University. The color blue is prominent in the building and echoed in cyanotypes showing Meredith and friends engaging in travel and leisure. The project documents Meredith’s life, home, and role in architectural history, and it speculates on the intersections of race, queerness, and domestic space that were not, or could not be, recorded.

Michael Borowski (he/him) is a visual artist working with photography to critically engage with architecture, technology, and the environment. Construction and fabrication are recurring metaphors in his work, which inhabits an ambiguous space between truth and fiction. Borowski approaches the built environment as a kind of fiction to show that design is not neutral, but reflects values, biases, and desires. His work has been exhibited at Site:Brooklyn (New York, NY), The Colorado Photographic Arts Center (Denver, CO), the Prairie Center for the Arts (Peoria, IL), and Espace Projet (Montreal, QC). He holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a BFA from the University of New Mexico. He currently lives and works on unceded Tutelo/Moneton land (Blacksburg, Virginia) and is assistant professor at Virginia Tech.