Linda Swartz: Columbia Point

About the Exhibition

This exhibition documents the daily lives of residents of Boston’s Columbia Point public housing project during its final years before redevelopment as Harbor Point, a luxury community.  A 26-minute video installation and twenty-one black-and-white prints from the project are presented in the North Gallery.  As an alternative to mass media’s sensationalized treatment of public housing, the intimate document offers viewers the opportunity to see beyond the stereotypes of public housing tenants and to glimpse them as they are– various ordinary people, albeit poor, getting on with their lives in a pretty tough environment, enjoying and worrying about their families, partying with their friends, caring for their children, planning for the future as best they can.  Swartz paints an often intimate but never romanticized portrait of Columbia Point; she doesn’t gloss over the grinding poverty and racism faced by this community, but she does allow the viewer to see the quiet courage and dignity with which her subjects support one another and create their community every day in spite of these obstacles.