Artist Projects

The Geography Trilogy/Part 3: Come Home Charley Patton


Ralph Lemon

The Geography Trilogy reflects Lemon’s perceptions of his research travels in Africa, Asia, and the U.S., and his identification with collaborators who include artists from Haiti, The Ivory Coast, Guinea, China, India, Japan, and Taiwan. Come Home Charley Patton: Part 3 of the Geography Trilogy explores the complicated past and rich folk culture of the southern United States as well as Lemon’s family history, from Lemon’s great-aunt Mattie in her nineties through his parents and himself (who straddle the periods of segregation into integration) to his daughter, in her twenties and of mixed race, whose life has been entirely “post-segregation.” Come Home Charley Patton investigates how different generations remember the same critical events and places, what kind of narratives do justice to traumatic memories, and what forms these memories can take through interconnected artistic ventures—a stage performance, video documentary, visual art exhibit, book, and website.

Project Updates

  • 2004: Come Home Charley Patton is performed at University of Illinois in Urbana

  • 2004: Come Home Charley Patton is performed at McFarlin Auditorium in Dallas

  • 2004: Come Home Charley Patton is performed at BAM Harvey Theater

  • 2005: Come Home Charley Patton is performed as part of Walker Dance at the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis